Local residents reported hearing helicopters overhead starting around 3pm yesterday afternoon. Others noticed the police perimeter established closing off Citrus Avenue in the Citrus Square neighborhood. Callers to LAPD Air Support, including the Larchmont Buzz, were told LAPD was pursuing a burglary suspect believed to be in area.
It all started with a report of a burglary in the 100 South block of Citrus in the Citrus Square neighborhood, according to Senior Lead Office David Cordova who was just sitting down to contact to Hancock Park HOA president Cindy Chvatal Keane who had received numerous emails from Hancock Park residents reporting their cars were broke into using electronic signal generators that unlock the doors and turn off the alarms.
Instead, Cordova responded to the call from a homeowner whose alarm system equipped with video alerted him to a burglary in progress at his home with video of the crime appearing on his smart phone. Startled, the homeowner who had ability to speak via the alarm system, called out to the burglars, alerting them that they were being monitored. At the same time, LAPD Wilshire division dispatched five police units to the scene to set up a perimeter and called for a police helicopter and a canine unit to try to catch the suspects.
Despite the prompt and robust response, the suspects were not apprehended. At some point, Cordova explained the suspects jumped into a car and drove out of the area.
Property Crimes Continue
Reports of property crime in local neighborhoods continue despite efforts to LAPD and residents to secure property and report crimes.
Very early Monday morning a resident at June and 6th Street reported a group of 4 or 5 people turning the corner of 6th street, walking in the street. The group split up, each covering the east and west side of the street walking northbound towards 4th street checking all of the car doors as they walked up the street.
SLO Cordova calls this “door checking” where suspects will attempt to open the car door to see if it’s locked. In this incident, the resident, seeing the suspects were about to reach her son’s open Jeep, called her son to set of the alarm and called ADT security who responded immediately. The suspects scattered.
After Chvatal Keane shared that email with Hancock Park residents, she received similar reports from other residents who are shocked by the amount of property crime in the neighborhood. Apparently, this group, or another similar group, vandalized two cars parked in the 100 block of South Las Palmas near 1st street last week. The cars were parked in driveways on opposite sides of Las Palmas.
Sometimes the cars are broken into, other times they are opened with electronic key signals, explained Cordova who urges everyone to report the break-ins even if nothing is taken. LAPD is driven by crime stats and without reports of crimes, it’s hard to justify more resources. But reporting crimes is not easy. One Hancock Park resident’s report was rejected because it didn’t meet the threshold for sufficient damage.
A new online reporting system helps but it’s still not perfect, acknowledged Cordova, who hopes it will continue to improve as more people use the system and additional crimes can be reported.
Currently you can only report the following crimes online:
- Harassing/Annoying Phone Calls. Defined as any person who repeatedly, with the intent to annoy, telephones or makes contact by means of an electronic communication. Immediate hang-ups, obscene language, emails, text messages with no known suspects.
- Lost Property. Lost property is personal property that was unintentionally left by its true owner. Property left in a restaurant, in a shopping cart, on a sidewalk, or in a public place.
- Vandalism. Any person who maliciously damages, destroys or defaces the property of another person. For example, knocking over a mailbox, spray painting a wall, or throwing a rock through a window
SLO Cordova said LAPD is always willing to take reports at the station or over the phone.
“I know it’s still a hassle, but it’s really important to help us get more resources,” said Cordova.
Below is the contact information for the two LAPD divisions that cover our neighborhoods.
4861 West Venice
Los Angeles, CA 90019
1130 S. Vermont
Los Angeles, CA 90006
This story was updated to correct the neighborhood to Citrus Square.