Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

“Snatch and Run” Thefts Increasing in Area

LAPD Olympic patrol car

Captain Nieto of the LAPD’s Olympic Division will be contributing a regular column on crime trends and  prevention strategies for our neighborhoods. 

Imagine that you are walking out of the local Metro station and you are talking on your cell phone.  Or perhaps you are just walking along, holding your purse.  It is the middle of the day, you are around numerous people, and you feel that nothing could possibly happen in this environment.  Suddenly, before you even realize what has happened, your phone is snatched from your hand from someone who approached from behind.  Before you can even get a good look at his or her face, the suspect runs off, or rides off on a bike or skateboard!!  Sound impossible?  It actually happens all the time!

Captain Tina Nieto
Captain Tina Nieto

A recent arrest occurred in Olympic Division illustrating this very type of crime.   On 9/10/14, at approximately 9:20 in the morning, the victim was walking with her friend inside the Metro station courtyard at Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue.  Suddenly the victim felt someone pull her purse from behind.  The victim’s friend confronted the suspect and a short struggle ensued.  During this struggle, the suspect pulled the victim’s cellphone from her purse and ran from the area.  Fortunately in this case, responding police officers located and arrested the suspect nearby and the stolen property was returned to the victim.  In many cases, however, the ending is not such a happy one.

These “snatch and run” type of thefts unfortunately occur with great frequency on the streets of our City, particularly in Olympic Division and other areas with large commercial centers and a high volume of pedestrian traffic.  The suspect or suspects generally approach the victim from behind, quickly grab the victim’s purse or cell phone, and occasionally even their necklaces, and run off before the victim can even see their face.

In addition, Olympic Division would also like to remind everyone to continue to keep their doors and windows closed to prevent break- ins.  During hot weather, it is tempting to leave windows open for ventilation but this proves to be a tempting entry point for many burglars!  On 9/8/14, at 3:30a.m. a burglary occurred in the 500 block of North Windsor.  The suspect entered through an open window while the resident was asleep inside.  The suspect began stealing property from the residence. When the victim awoke and confronted him, the suspect fled from the location and later used a stolen credit card to buy cigarettes from a store in the 400 block of North Western Avenue.  Please remember to secure all windows and doors.  If you leave a window open for ventilation, only open it slightly, and ensure that you insert wooden dowels or use locking mechanisms to prevent break-ins!  And please call Olympic Area Detectives at (213) 382-9460 if you have information about this suspect or the above burglary.

Captain Tina Nieto
LAPD Olympic Community Police Station
1130 S. Vermont
Los Angeles, CA 90006
323-382-9460 (detectives)

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