It happened again – thieves stole all the wheels from a car parked on the street. Early Monday morning, a homeowner reported to the Hancock Park Homeowners Association that they woke up to find all the wheels taken off their car, which was parked across the street from their home on McCadden Place. The same thing happened to a nearby neighbor a month ago.
Also, a Longwood Highlands resident named Ericka reported a similar incident on NextDoor.com, in March, 2019; all four tires and rims were stolen off her 2017 Mercedes Benz.
“The thieves left my car on Coca-Cola crates,” wrote Ericka on NextDoor. “I made a police report and an officer came out and took some forensic. The officer told me this is happening a lot in the Mid-Wilshire district, Beverly hills and Hollywood to luxury cars. Neighbors please be vigilant because our neighborhood is becoming riddled with crime…I have reported this information to the police.”
A week later another resident reported on NextDoor that the wheels were stolen from his Volvo in the same neighborhood.
And as far back as February, we reported that LAPD Senior Lead Officer Ian O’Brien told residents of La Brea-Hancock, at their annual homeowners meeting, about this new crime trend. He said the suspect usually comes between 2 and 5 a.m., jacks the car up and takes the wheels, leaving the rest of the car behind. The process, O’Brien said, takes 20 or 30 minutes…but because it happens during those early morning hours, no one sees what’s going on and the thief can work uninterrupted.
So what can we do? Follow the age old advice “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” LAPD repeatedly tells homeowners to park vehicles in garages or behind locked gates whenever possible. They also advise that residents “harden the target,” meaning “don’t give people the opportunity to victimize you.” According to LAPD, a large number of car break-ins occur when people leave doors unlocked, and when they leave bags and things like computers visible in the passenger area. LAPD recommendeds that we “hide it-lock it-keep it.” Also be vigilant, and report any property crimes to LAPD. As we have reported before, LAPD is driven by stats and they deploy resources where they have received reports of crimes.
Take care and be vigilant!