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

Property Crimes on the Rise in Neighborhood


The Los Angeles Police Department has reported that property crime is on the rise in our neighborhoods, as well as in the rest of the city and county.  Property crimes – defined as theft and burglary/theft from motor vehicles – are the single largest category of crimes in the United States today, accounting for about 60% of all crimes reported, according to SSA Security Group, Inc., which provides private security services in our Greater Wilshire area.

According to SSA,  law enforcement experts think the increase in property crimes in the Mid-Wilshire area, including Hancock Park, Windsor Square, La Brea Hancock, etc., maybe be related to the passage of Prop 47 and the reduction of criminal prosecution and incarceration for these crimes. But many of these crimes are preventable by simply locking your car and removing personal property from your vehicle.

“It has been our experience that most criminals search for easy targets. Thus, by hardening the target it can either prevent the crime from occurring or buy enough time for suspects to be apprehended,” wrote Terry Segraves of SSA Group in a recent message to clients and homeowners in the area.

Burglary and/or Theft from Motor Vehicle is the single most prevalent crime in the nation. Auto theft follows closely behind. From experience, we know that car burglary/theft suspects look for cars that are left unlocked, making entry and ultimate theft simple, explained Segraves.

According to SSA, these are the reasons for persons breaking into or entering vehicles:

  • There is a wide variety of merchandise generally left in a car (phones, laptops /tablets /clothes /music /change /wallets /credit cards).
  • It is easy to complete this crime.
  • It takes less than a minute to enter a vehicle, especially if unlocked. Most of the time there are no witnesses, due to stealth, speed and ease of entry
  • It is hard to get caught. Car entry thieves/burglars usually work during the hours of darkness, late at night or early in the dark hours of the morning (after midnight) when no one is around and the residents are sleeping.
  • The crime is usually a misdemeanor, so the risk factors of getting caught are minimal…and if a thief does get captured, the punishment is minimal.
  • Thieves look for cars of value, because a valuable car equals “good stuff inside.”
  • Do not leave valuables in your car, take them with you into your home

According to SSA, thieves include a wide range of people, including homeless persons, drug users, and younger criminals. Theft is primarily a crime of opportunity.

SSA offers the following tips on how to avoid being a victim and make your vehicle a “hard target”:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Never leave your keys, wallet, purse or credit cards in the car
  5. Use the alarm on the car. If you car does not have and alarm, consider installing one.

Regarding thefts using keyless devices, Wilshire Area Senior Lead Officer Dave Cordova recently reported that LAPD arrested a pair of car break-in specialists who had an electronic device to unlock cars.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau has reported that thieves are using high-tech electronic devices to break through the keyless-entry systems that lock modern cars. Thieves may also be using electronic “scanner boxes” that allow them to mimic the signal emitted by key fobs, which open car doors with the click of a button.

However, citizens can “insulate” their smart keys from devices that pick up the signal in several ways.  At a recent Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association meeting, SLO Dave Cordova suggested storing your keys in a tin can.  SSA suggests using a “Faraday Cage,” a nylon pouch which prevents the device from sending a signal.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
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.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Latest Articles

.printfriendly { padding: 0 0 60px 50px; }