Property crime investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire Division are warning the public about a series of commercial burglaries occurring recently in the Fairfax District, as well as an uptick in auto break-ins in subterranean parking garages.
Det. Carmine Sasso, with the Wilshire Division Burglary Unit, said at least four commercial burglaries have occurred in the area during the past couple of weeks, which is unusual, he said. The incidents have occurred during the early morning hours at stores on Beverly Boulevard and Melrose Avenue, near their intersections with Fairfax Avenue. The burglars appear to be targeting clothing stores, however Sasso said he could not name any of the businesses because of an ongoing investigation. The stores are located in the 7000 to 8000 blocks.
“We’ve been hit a couple of times up there. It’s cyclical,” he said. “I can’t go into specifics, but they are stealing leather goods and clothing, purses and handbags. Some of the purses are valued at several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars.”
Sasso said the burglaries have occurred between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. The suspects generally smash front windows to gain entry. Sasso said the thieves are targeting stores with items they can easily sell. Investigators are encouraging business owners to take precautions such as installing surveillance cameras and security gates that cover storefronts when businesses are closed.
“We put extra patrols up there and are trying to pay close attention,” Sasso said. “The business owners can also take precautions.”
The detective said investigators are in the process of reviewing existing surveillance camera footage from the area. No suspect descriptions are available.
Police are also warning residents in apartment buildings to be cautious about auto burglaries in subterranean parking garages. Senior lead officer Geoff Taff, who patrols the neighborhoods around the Beverly Center and the Melrose Avenue Shopping District, said the burglaries have occurred during the past couple of weeks at apartment buildings on residential streets around Burton Way, La Cienega Boulevard and Hayworth Avenue, north of Beverly Boulevard. Taff cautioned that motorists should always take precautions when parked in a garage, even if it is locked.
“People may have a false sense of security and are leaving their doors unlocked,” Taff said. “Last week in my area, we had four [burglaries] in underground parking garages. It seems to be climbing a bit. There has been an uptick in the last couple of weeks.”
Authorities caution motorists to not leave any valuables in plain sight inside vehicles, and to always lock the doors and windows. Taff said warning flyers about the auto burglaries are being distributed to apartment buildings in the area.
Anyone with information about the burglaries is urged to call Wilshire Division detectives at (213)922-8205.
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