CD4 Councilman Tom La Bonge held a community meeting on Thursday evening so that the LAPD could address our neighborhood and share their insight regarding the recent uptick in burglaries in our area – both home and auto. The meeting was held in the auditorium at John Burroughs Middle School on South McCadden Place in Hancock Park and was attended by approximately 150 community members.
LAPD showed up in force. LAPD Olympic Division was represented by Captain Bob Arcos and Senior Lead Officer Joseph Pelayo. LAPD Wilshire Division was represented by Captain Eric Davis and Senior Lead Officer Dave Cordova.
Officer Pelayo addressed the issues that are impacting Olympic Division in our area – remember that Officer Pelayo’s area is from Wilshire and Western, north to Melrose; then west to Plymouth and south to Wilshire; and back over to Western.
Click for – Olympic Division Basic Car Map – Area 20A1
According to SLO Pelayo, only one of the recent home burglaries in our neighborhood actually fell in the Olympic Division. Most of the Olympic Division crimes continue to be car break-ins. He encouraged the community to be persistent about communicating – even after it feels like the occurrence of these types of crimes has dissipated. Communication is key because knowledge motivates residents to harden targets. And when it comes to auto thefts – the most important thing is not to leave anything of value inside the car.
LAPD Olympic Division Captain Bob Arcos continued the theme of Burglary Theft from a Motor Vehicle (BTMV) within the Olympic Division’s boundaries and addressed the fact that the division has a task force dedicated to reducing the incidents of this type of crime. The task force adjusts their patrols to the most problematic areas, days and times – namely 12a-6a, Th-Su. The task force has had significant success in arresting the crews involved in these types of crime. However, the Police are up against the legal system – BTMV is a misdemeanor crime and offenders are usually released within 48 hours to start the cycle of crime again.
Senior Lead Officer Dave Cordova addresed the uptick in both burglaries and BTMV in the area that he patrols – Basic Car Area 7A17. SLO Cordova is responsible for the area to the west of Officer Pelayo’s area – generally Plymouth west to La Brea north of Beverly; Plymouth west to Poinsettia north of 6th Street; and Plymouth west to La Brea north of 8th Street (see map for a more specific accounting of SLO Cordova’s area).
Click for – Wilshire Area – Basic Car Area 7A17
Wilshire Division Captain Eric Davis was very direct with the crowd – there have been 30 more crimes in our area year to date than there were by this same date last year. He wanted those gathered to know that Wilshire Division is fully aware of what is going on and they are focused and moving forward to eradicate the cause of the crime.
KNOCK KNOCK TASK FORCE
The burglaries in our area – where the perpetrators ring the door bell or knock on the front door to gauge the occupancy of the home – are not unique to our neighborhood. In fact, there is a rash of this type of crime in the San Fernando Valley, the South Bay, Glendale and our area – Wilshire/Olympic. LAPD is working on these types of crime via an LAPD group known as the Knock Knock Taks Force (a city wide task force).
Arrests have revealed the sophistication of the crews working in tandem to rob homes in this manner. The robbers survey a property, knock on the door and then go around back to break in. They use police scanners, look-outs and work in advance to understand the comings and goings of the area. LAPD’s Knock Knock Task Force is at work in our community – sometimes in ways we won’t necessarily see (i.e. plain clothes, etc.).
Both Wilshire Division and Olympic Division work very closely on all crime in our area – but in particular on this current rash of burglaries. In fact, Olympic Division has an officer on the Knock Knock Task Force and they get very good intelligence about the progress and the nuances of the pattern of these crimes. Additionally, Olympic Division has one of the City’s foremost print specialists working on their team. As a result, they are collecting fantastic finger prints – at the scenes of both BTMVs and home burglaries. They are building a significant library for use today and into the future.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Secure your property.
When it comes to your car – take your valuables out of your car when you park it on the street or in your driveway. Lock your car. Be alert and if you see something suspicious – call 911 and report what you see in full detail.
When it comes to your home – lock your windows, doors and set your alarm. Even when you are home. Don’t open your front door unless you are certain that you know who is there. Be alert! Get to know your neighbors and look out for one another…a neighborly email chain can really help when it comes to communicating something suspicious happening on the street.
Knowledge is power – what will you do to prepare and harden your targets?
Mary, you do a great service to our community
with your fast and accurate reporting, like this
article. Thanks again.
Thanks Kathleen:) Good crowd at the meeting…the community is engaged on this issue and the sophisticated crews better watch out.
Thanks, Buzz, for the report, but I hate to think that we have to close our windows, lock our doors AND have the alarm on when we’re home. That’s not really good advice. With the value of our homes, the taxes we pay and the rise in crime, the police should be present and make it so we can actually live comfortably, not like we’re in a prison.
Thanks for the thorough reporting! Will re-post on the Larchmont Village Neighborhood Assn.’s yahoo group, [email protected].