Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire and Olympic divisions are warning about home burglaries occurring in Hancock Park and the surrounding communities.
Authorities said it is important to “harden the target,” meaning taking steps to prevent break-ins and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim. The burglaries have primarily been occurring during the late afternoon and early evening hours, and are believed to involve two male suspects. One generally waits in a vehicle and acts as a lookout while the other rings a doorbell to see if anyone is home, then enters the back yard, breaks a window and commits the burglary, said Capt. Sonia Monico, commanding officer of the Wilshire Division.
“It’s not just Hancock Park, we’ve had an increase in burglaries throughout the division during the evening hours when people are out to dinner. So we’re just asking folks, and we put out on social media, to make sure they lock their doors, leave their lights on and utilize their alarm and video system.”
Monico did not have the exact number of burglaries that have occurred during the recent spree, but crimemaping.com shows approximately 20 break-ins in Hancock Park and the surrounding neighborhoods since Nov. 6. She said in some instances, an occupant was home and the suspect fled when confronted. No injuries have been reported during the recent burglaries, she said.
Monico added that many residents do not respond if someone knocks on their door, and she encouraged them to keep doors closed but to say something that lets a potential burglar know somebody is home. She said keeping radios or televisions on can be helpful in discouraging burglars.
“We also ask that neighbors look out for each other, and that they call if they see anything suspicious,” Monico said.
Olympic Division Captain Aaron Ponce warned residents to look for suspicious vehicles parked and idling in neighborhoods, and take notice of people bundled up on warm days wearing hooded sweatshirts, masks and gloves.
“If you witness a possible crime in action please call 911,” Ponce said.
Monico said the LAPD is deploying additional resources throughout the division during the holidays to reduce crime in neighborhoods, shopping districts and malls. Motorists are warned to never keep valuables in plain sight inside vehicles, and to always be aware of their surroundings when returning to cars in parking lots. Park in well-illuminated locations and avoid walking alone, especially at night.
LAPD officers are available to work with residents and business owners on measures to prevent crime and reduce the potential for becoming a victim. For information and to schedule an appointment, call the Wilshire Division’s Community Relations Office at (213)473-0200.