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

Property Crimes Continue to Plague Neighborhoods


Property crimes continue to plague residents, with weekend reports of a home and several car burglaries in Hancock Park and Brookside.

Last weekend, four vehicles were broken into from Saturday night to Sunday morning on the 500 to 700 blocks of N. Cherokee and Las Palmas Aves. in Hancock Park, including one where thieves broke the window to get to a briefcase that was in the car.

According to the victim, quoted in a note distributed to Hancock Park residents, the burglarized car was locked.  “After trying all the handles on all of the cars in the driveway to find them locked – he then returned with a van and smashed my window.  They took my empty briefcase and checkbook.”

In a similar e-mail to neighbors, other victims reported that both of their cars were also broken into, one in the driveway and one in front of the house. 

“Both were locked, but they somehow got in without breaking the windows.  They went through the cars and trunks, and took a somewhat random assortment of things, including parking meter change, 3 pairs of prescription glasses, a gym bag, a Bose radio/cd player, and a pair of new shoes. We reported the break-in to SSA, and emailed the LAPD SLO.  We’re checking to see if the break-in was caught in neighbors security cameras.  It occurred between 11 p.m. and 10 a.m., and a neighbor reported hearing noise in the driveway at 4 a.m.”

In a message sent this weekend to neighbors and City Council Member David Ryu, Hancock Park Homeowners Association President Cindy Chvatal-Keane urged those who have been burglarized to e-mail Ryu’s office and “let them know so they will have a record of the latest escalation. We need more patrol from LAPD and private security. There is now an LAPD kiosk at the Grove where you can report crimes. If you have been a victim of crime, please report it and keep a record of when you filed the report and the name of the officer taking the report. It is the only way to force the City to recognize the need to increase patrol in residential neighborhoods.”

Also this past weekend, a home burglary was reported in Brookside, on the 800 block of Keniston. According to the homeowner in a post on, thieves jimmied open a back window and ransacked the home. The alarm was not on since the homeowner was only gone a few hours. The crime was reported to the police.  The homeowner, a longtime resident, noted in her post that she’s lived in Brookside for more than 30 years and has always felt safe, until now.

As we’ve reported before, all area residents are advised to take every precaution to avoid being a victim of crime.  Consider some of the following recommendations from SSA Security to maintain your vigilance and make your property a “hard target:

  • Do not leave valuables such as electronic equipment, brief cases, phones, GPS devices, clothes, gifts or packages, visible inside the passenger area of your vehicle. Secure these items in the trunk of your car.
  • Always lock and secure the doors and windows of your vehicle, even if it is only going to be left unattended for a short time.
  • Park in a well-lit area or in your driveway. If you have a driveway gate parking it behind the gate and ensure the gate is closed.
  • Never leave your keys, wallet, purse or credit cards in the car
  • Use the alarm on the car. If you car does not have and alarm, consider installing one.

According to LAPD, burglary is a crime of opportunity…so you should make thieves’ work risky and difficult, which will help deter them before they get in. Your first line of defense is visibility — burglars hide behind fences and shrubbery, so you should keep trespassers out while keeping your property visible. Use picket or chain link fences instead of walls or dense shrubbery, and keep hedges clipped down around waist level.

Also, burglars try the doors and windows first. If they have difficulty with those, chances are they will move on to another property.  So make sure doors and windows – including skylights – are strong and secured.

In addition, advises LAPD:

  • Be careful about key control (how many copies you have, to whom you give them, and rekeying locks when tenants or employees leave)
  • Try to make sure your exterior lighting gets into all the dark areas of your yard, especially near doors and windows.
  • Consider installing an alarm system (and then put up signs to let would-be intruders know the system is there), and then use it whenever you leave the house.
  • Use Operation Identification to helps you mark your property with your California driver’s license number and operation ID decals…and keep an up-to-date inventory of your property.

Finally, if you suspect a burglary has taken place or is in progress:

• Don’t go in — the burglar may still be inside.
• If the location is a business, don’t open for business — your employees and customers may unwittingly alter valuable evidence.
• Call police immediately.

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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