Continuing with an unsettling trend this year, there have been numerous reports of crime in the neighborhood in the last several weeks. (Private security firm SSA reported nearly 200 calls for service in its monthly report this month.)
Last month, on September 14th, there was a particularly disturbing violent home invasion on the 800 block of Keniston Avenue in Brookside, which was widely reported on social media. A female resident was awakened by a man choking her, and then she was was beaten, blind-folded, and her life threatened with a gun. All three intruders were masked, “ninja style,” and their faces were not seen by the resident. The assailants stole the woman’s jewelry. She and the police both asked that other Brookside residents be vigilant about their home security, and remember to lock all doors and windows when leaving or going to bed for the evening. Also, do not leave house keys under a doormat, in flower pot, or on a ledge near the door. Make sure all exterior doors have “dead bolt” locks and, if you have a security system, make sure you always use it. Since this incident, LAPD and ADT have both increased coverage in the area.
Meanwhile, there Cindy Chvatal-Keane, President of the Hancock Park Homeowners’ Association, est. 1948, reported three incidents in her neighborhood:
The first was a robbery on Thursday, September 28, at approximately 6:15 a.m., on the 500 block of N. Rossmore Ave. A suspect struck the victim with closed a fist, kicked the victim, and then removed the victim’s property and fled.
The second incident in Hancock Park was a sexual battery on October 1. The victim was exercise walking at the time, heading north on Las Palmas, just north of 3rd Street. A male suspect approached her from behind and grabbed her crotch. He then turned and ran away southbound on Las Palmas, then eastbound on 3rd St. An officer from SSA responded, made contact with the victim, and then requested additional officers from SSA and LAPD. Because the incident occurred across the street from the Yavneh Hebrew Academy, which is an SSA client, the victim was asked to stay with Yavneh security personnel until LAPD arrived. The SSA officers then conducted a search of the area, but did not find the suspect. LAPD Senior Lead Officer David Cordova also responded and completed a crime report. The victim described the suspect as male, Hispanic or Caucasian, with 2-3 inch long black hair, wearing a black shirt, possibly gray short pants and knee high black socks.
Finally in Hancock Park, residents reported a burglary during the evening of Monday, October 2, at 300 North McCadden Place. Someone entered the property through the driveway gate and contiued into an unlocked utility room attached to the garage. Two power-tool sets were taken. The residents said they called the LAPD Wilshire station, but the phone there was never answered.
Also, in addition to the report from the HPHOA, the Los Angeles Tennis Club, also located in Hancock Park, reported that in late September, a would-be thief attempted to steal a car, in broad daylight, from the Club’s parking lot…and there was a break-in at the Wagon Wheel School on Cahuenga. The Tennis Club has also engaged SSA Security to make sure there are patrol cars in the vicinity at all times…and they also advise members to ask the club’s own security guard to walk them to their cars or nearby residences if they leave the club after dark.
While all of these reports are worrisome, however, residents in two neighborhoods have been moved by the local problems to take proactive measures against crimes in their areas.
In Miracle Mile, where there have also been several unsettling break-ins in recent months, residents Kari Garcia and Kelly Perkins recently worked with the Miracle Mile Residential Association to create a new MMRA Safety Committee to “help detect, deter, report, and reduce crime.” The committee will host a special community kickoff meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 16, at the Westside Jewish Community Center. Representatives from City Council Members David Ryu and Herb Wesson’s offices will also attend, along with LAPD Senior Lead Officer Hebel Rodriguez. Meeting attendees will have the opportunity to express concerns about crime, ask questions, make suggestions, and get important crime-fighting tips.
“We need to get organized to fight crime on a block-by-block basis,” said Garcia in a recent statement. “There are many effective steps we can take to protect our community. It’s time to take action and stop crime in the Miracle Mile.”
Residents in Brookside are taking similar action. They will hold a special community safety meeting on Sunday, October 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 803 S. Rimpau Blvd. Representatives from Ring (which makes easy-to-install video doorbells and security cameras), ADT Security, and SSA Security will be there, along with SLO Rodriguez, to talk about security products and services available to residents, both individually and as a community.
[Buzz Co-Publisher Elizabeth Fuller also contributed to this story.]