As most of our neighbors know, property crimes are up lately in our area, and both police and neighbors are increasingly vigilant about all suspicious activity in the neighborhood. But we have some good news today about a local burglary arrest…as well as a new alert of suspicious activity…and a notice about an LAPD blood drive where you can donate, too.
Last Wednesday, there was some good news from Windsor Village, where a burglary suspect was apprehended while apparently attempting to break into a home on the 900 block of S. Victoria Ave. Around 1:20 p.m. that day, Wilshire Division Senior Lead Officer Hebel Rodriguez told the Buzz this morning, a homeowner, who was not home at the time, called the police to report that the home’s Ring doorbell had sent an alert showing several strangers on the property, ringing the doorbell to see if anyone was home. When the suspects rang several more times, and then the doorbell camera caught one of them heading to the back yard, the homeowner called the police again with updates, and a patrol unit was dispatched, with Officer Rodriguez and his partner responding, too.
When the patrol officers arrived, they saw a suspect running from the property and were able to catch and detain him. Two other suspects apparently ran east toward the Rite Aid drug store at Olympic and Crenshaw, and were not caught, but the police found a ski mask dropped by one suspect, which is now being tested for DNA.
Because of the recent crime trends in the area, the police are on high alert for suspicious activity in the area, and were able to respond quckly. And that short response time, Rodriguez said, was “crucial” to capturing this suspect.
The suspect who was arrested, Rodriguez said, was apparently the group’s driver. And his car, a red Lexus sedan – which police say was likely used in several other recent burglaries in Windsor Village and Brookside – was also recovered. According to Rodriguez, the car contained jewelry, cash and packages which were apparently taken from at least two other locations that day, and possibly others as well.
While the two other suspects have not yet been caught, Rodriguez said the arrest of their partner “hopefully puts the other two on alert” and “will push them out of the area.” Rodriguez says he is also hoping that, because of this arrest, crime will “definitely slow down in the area, and it will be quiet for a while.” If this is true, he said, it should be confirmed shortly, when the week’s crime statistics are published.
Finally, Rodriguez said the arrested suspect is currently out on bail after paying the required 10 percent of the $150,000 set by the court, but Rodriguez is “very confident that there will be a solid case with the D.A.’s office” as prosecution moves forward.
The Alert [Updated]
Meanwhile, in the Larchmont Village area on Saturday, a neighbor posted on NextDoor.com that two young girls came to his door, asking to see the inside of his house, because they found it “pretty.” The neighbor declined and posted about the incident, which seemed to be in line with other local door-knocking reports (like the one above) which preceded or indicated criminal intent. In this case, however, neighbors (including the girls’ parents) later confirmed that the two girls are, in fact, residents of the neighborhood, and meant no harm.
So while neighbors are still encouraged to be on the alert for suspicious activity, this particular story also points out the need for caution and accuracy in residents’ reports. LAPD will take them seriously, especially now when illegal activity is on the upswing, as indicated in this advisory yesterday from Olympic Division Senior Lead Officer Joe Pelayo:
“If you have anyone knocking on your front door and asking to enter your home to see the inside, DO NOT LET THEM IN!
If you notice that these persons are driving around in a vehicle without plates it should further raise your suspicions that they are up to no good.
Please don’t hesitate to call 911 for these type of suspicious activities. Let the operator know of the crime trend in the community and that LAPD OLYMPIC area has recommended that a patrol unit respond and investigate in order to identify these persons of interest.”
The Blood Drive
Finally, if you’d like to show your support for our local LAPD officers, please consider participating in the LAPD West Operations Bureau and West Traffic Division’s “Battle of the Badges” blood drive, in progress today from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wilshire Division station, 4849 W. Venice Blvd. You’ll be supporting our local law enforcement personnel…and saving real lives. To schedule an appointment visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code BadgeSoCal (select this location). For questions or more information, contact Officer Jessyca Avalos at (213) 473-0266
[Note: this story has been updated to reflect the identification and innocence of the two girls in the Larchmont-area “alert,” as well as the need – highlighted by these reports – of accuracy and caution when reporting suspicious activity to police. The Buzz regrets any confusion the earlier version of this story may have caused.]