Note from Sr. Lead Officer Maria Gray

Senior Lead Officer for Basic Car 8A13, Brentwood Area
Los Angeles Police Department
West Los Angeles Division
(310) 444-0744 | 30469@LAPD.ONLINE
www.crimemapping.com

January 2, 2020       HAPPY NEW YEAR BRENTWOOD!!

Well folks, it’s been a wonderful ride.  But over the next couple of weeks I’ll be further and further transitioning out towards retirement while your new Senior Lead Officer, Officer Matt Kirk, will transition in.  That being said, it’s now the time to update your LAPD contact info with HIS information.  Please send all your emails, inquiries, and complaints (yes, especially the complaints) to Officer Kirk starting right now.  That way, if he has any questions, he can still get a hold of me to give him a hand if need be.  Also, my account will soon be deactivated and I don’t want anyone to be left frustrated. 

Officer Matt Kirk
34713@lapd.online | 310-444-0744

I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of the Brentwood community for the past seven years.  In my experience (and I’ve been a Senior Lead for nearly 18 of my 26 years) the Brentwood community is unique from other communities in that folks always stepped up to help.  There was always an attitude of ‘What can be done?’ or ‘How can I help?’ or ‘What do you need?’ rather than simply demanding something or making unreasonable complaints.  I have always wanted to do my best for Brentwood because so many of you have evolved into a friendship for me in our collaborative efforts to solve community problems and make improvements. 

I hope Brentwood’s children know just how lucky they are to grow up in a community within this vast metropolis of Los Angeles that still has a small-town feel, a sense of community, where kindness comes easy and smiles are plentiful.  I’d swear that even the weather seems better here in Brentwood.  Oh sure, we have our issues: traffic is horrendous, the unresolved homeless issue continues, etc., but the movers and the shakers of this community work tirelessly to always improve, always move forward, always put forth an effort. 

Crime this year has been at record lows.  And that’s on top of the substantial decrease we experienced last year!  But that’s little comfort to those who have been victimized– statistics mean nothing to them.  So, we must never forget that crime ebbs and flows, or swings like a pendulum.  We MUST continue to make security improvements to our homes, we MUST continue to use ‘Big City’ common sense in our daily life practices (i.e. not leaving anything within your vehicles, ever) and to stay ever aware, connected, and to fight complacency.  It doesn’t take much for a couple of criminals to decimate the security of a neighborhood and to traumatize families and their sense of security, forever.  So, we must continue to play hard ball.  We must continue to watch, challenge, report and improve upon all aspects of our community: our homes, our neighbor’s homes, our residential neighborhoods and our workplaces.  Bad guys must never be allowed to feel comfortable and unseen.  I’ve said it before, BE THE BUSY BODY, there’s no shame in it if your intentions are good.   

I’m leaving you in good hands.  Senior Lead Officer Matt Kirk has been chosen by our Commanding Officer to replace me for the Brentwood area.  But he is not a brand new Senior Lead Officer.  He has been a Police Officer for nearly 20 years and he has already been a Senior Lead Officer for the past 11 years.  He comes to your community with a lot of experience. 

In closing, I wish you all well.  I hope that Brentwood will continue its path and legacy as one of the most beautiful, safest, kindest communities in all of Los Angeles. It has been my pleasure, as well as an honor, to serve you. 

All the best,

Maria
______________________________________________________________

Editor’s note:

I never knew, before moving to Brentwood, that there would be an available, approachable, optimistic Senior Lead Officer who would become an integral part of our community. Who would respond to our issues both community-wide and personal, who would write frequent crime updates and include practical advice. Who would attend our community meetings, our HOA meetings, our neighborhood meetings, our public events…who would become my friend.

We wish Officer Gray much happiness as she begins a new chapter in her life. We will miss you Officer Gray!

Senior Lead Officer Kirk…Welcome to Brentwood! We look forward to getting to know you!

Badge Note from LAPD Sr. Lead Officer Maria Gray

OFFICER Maria Gray Senior Lead Officer for Basic Car 8A13, Brentwood Area Los Angeles Police Department West Los Angeles Division
(310) 444-0744 | 30469@LAPD.ONLINE,
RE: Citizen App
April 11, 2019

We, as Senior Lead Officers, frequently receive calls, emails, and questions regarding police activity going on RIGHT NOW within their neighborhood. Understandably, it can be very frustrating for folks to see officers deployed within their neighborhood, or to see a police helicopter orbiting above and not know what’s going on. Calling the LAPD West LA front desk during these times can be frustrating too because everyone else is essentially doing the same thing. And we, Senior Lead Officers, as most of you should already know, are not here to address issues 24/7.
Therefore, I am very happy to report that there is now a free App that will notify you on your smart phone or similar device of real-time police and fire activity and emergency calls for service within your community.
You may download the Citizen App directly onto your smart phone or device from the App store. Once you have set up the App for your area, you will begin to receive notifications and real-time information on police and fire department activity and calls for service within your immediate neighborhood.
Keep in mind that this app is not associated with the City of Los Angeles of the Los Angeles Police Department in any way. But several of us officers have been using the app and find it to be useful and relatively accurate thus far. We wanted to share this useful tool with all of you.
Copy and paste to view this local news story link for more detailed information about the Citizen App:
https://ktla.com/…/citizen-app-review-iphone-android-los-a…/
Best to you all,
Maria

Badge Note: Sr. Lead Officer Maria Gray

note from…
OFFICER Maria Gray
Senior Lead Officer for Basic Car 8A13, Brentwood Area
Los Angeles Police Department
West Los Angeles Division
(310) 444-0744
30469@LAPD.ONLINE,
www.crimemapping.com

March 27, 2019

Officers and Detectives cannot reiterate this enough… Please, please, PLEASE, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE FOBS OR KEYS IN YOUR CARS!!!

Our Auto Detectives advise that at present, the West LA average for vehicles stolen from our area, and ultimately recovered, which have the fobs or keys within the vehicle is well over 40%. Nearly HALF!!! In fact, a few weeks ago, we experienced a trend wherein 100% of the cars stolen in a one week period from the West LA Area involved victims who left their fobs or keys within their cars. This is crazy!!

Some of victims are most adamant about not having done so, and yet when we recover the car– often in other parts of the City– the fobs or keys are within the vehicle (mind you, fobs are NOT easy to duplicate).

If you don’t make the foolish habit of doing this, we commend you. But please know that this practice still affects you and your family’s safety. Criminals coming into our community and finding cars to steal (or to break into) with ease only brings more opportunistic criminals roaming our streets.

Keep in mind that these criminals conduct ‘Door Checking’ in which they walk our streets, enter our parking lots and garages and tug on the door handles. If it opens, they know the fobs are likely somewhere in the vehicle. They push the start button and they’re off!! We also need to mention and curtail the poor practice of ‘Tandem Parking’ in which tenants of complexes leave their keys in the car or ‘hidden’ on the tires so that roommates or family members can maneuver around shared or tight parking spaces. The problem is, the criminals know too of this practice all too well. This is particularly prevalent in the South Brentwood areas. Lastly, during the warmer months, criminals KNOW and take advantage of people who leave their keys on their tires when parked at the beach or park or trail head. Don’t do that.

We owe it to each other to live a responsible Big City Smarts kind of life. Brentwood is a beautiful, safe community and sometimes it’s easy to forget that we are still part of a huge metropolis, and all that goes with it.

Brentwood Break-In Survey: from SBRA Neighborhood Watch Chair

From SBRA Neighborhood Watch Chair Max Mednik:
Brentwood Break-In Survey

*** Fill this out if you’ve had a break-in: ***
https://goo.gl/forms/IbTl2hh8MyVSpbSg1

Our home had a break-in last year, and it seems like break-ins are again on the rise.

I’d like to get some data on recent break-ins in order to spot patterns and best practices to protect our homes and families. For example, does having a gate or a dog or cameras really help?

I made a simple survey (should take only 1 minute) for people to be able to fill out. Then, I plan to analyze the data and report back any patterns I spot.

The data people report will be anonymous and will be kept private.

Currently, I’m targeting households that meet all these requirements:
a) Had a break-in (attempted or actual) in the last 12 months
b) Live in a single family home
c) Live in Brentwood

Here is the survey form:
https://goo.gl/forms/IbTl2hh8MyVSpbSg1

Thanks!

Free email alerts for crime and safety

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Max Mednik, SBRA Advisory Board Member:
From Max Mednik, SBRA Advisory Board Member

Free email alerts for crime and safety near us
FYI in case it could be helpful to anyone: CrimeMapping and CrimeReports both have free email alerts of crime activity near us. Signing up is pretty fast, and you can choose what area and types of crimes you want to hear about. I just signed up on both myself to stay on top of what’s going on around us.
https://www.crimemapping.com/Alerts

https://www.crimereports.com

NeighborsNetwork Tips

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Note from Judie:
We are getting increasing reports of people wanting access to property under false pretenses – rat check, water leakage, wire access.
Might be a good idea to let everyone in the household know what to do when someone comes knocking at your door – staff, visiting relatives and friends, etc.
First rule, always let them know that you are home, but do not open the door.
Video doorbells are very useful tools.
It goes without saying–Don’t open your door to any stranger.

Stay in touch with me and your neighbors,
Judie
judie@neighborsnetwork.net
Sign Up for Alerts HERE

From LAPD WLA Senior Lead Officer: Tandem Parking Warning

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A note from…
OFFICER Maria Gray
Senior Lead Officer for Basic Car 8A13, Brentwood Area
Los Angeles Police Department
West Los Angeles Division
(310) 444-0744
30469@LAPD.ONLINE,
www.crimemapping.com

August 23, 2018

Auto detectives just shared with me this morning that they are seeing a recurring trend of crimes associated with the very unwise habit of leaving keys in cars for ‘tandem’ parking. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this practice, it typically involves parking in multi-unit complex garages wherein one car parks directly behind another car. They then leave their keys in the car or ‘hidden’ on the tires so that roommates or family members can maneuver around shared or tight parking spaces. The problem is, the bad guys know of this practice all too well and count on folks doing it to provide them easy access to the inside of cars– whether to steal the contents or to take the car altogether. This is particularly prevalent in the South Brentwood areas.

We can’t emphasis enough how this practice needs to stop. Not only does it jeopardize the cars and property of those engaged in tandem parking, it also affects their neighbors who aren’t engaged in these risky practices. Neighbors can become victims because they are now exposed to the same suspects returning to their properties time and time again since they know it’s easy to steal stuff at 12345 Kiowa or 67890 Goshen. Believe me, when they find a building they can successfully steal from, they will repeatedly return, taking whatever is not nailed down.

And while on this subject involving multi-unit complex garages, it’s worth mentioning that bicycles and other stored property in garages that are in view of anyone who’s in the garage appears as opportunity for those with bad intentions—even if it’s locked!! My advice is to keep bikes and property within your residence. And if that’s impossible, then at least hide it from view so that it doesn’t advertise what’s in there for the taking.

Best to you all, Maria

LAPD Senior Lead Officer Maria Gray addresses Brentwood Community Council August Meeting

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COMMUNITY ALERT!
There has been a series of Residential Burglaries developing in the Westside communities. The suspects typically knock or ring the doorbell to verify if anyone is home. When there is no answer, the suspects enter the side or rear of the residence and force entry typically by smashing the window or door glass to gain entry. Suspects are targeting the master bed and bath as well as other areas of the home and removing Jewelry, cash, small valuables and small electronics.
Immediate Detection! Is key to prevention and apprehension. The Los Angeles Police Department recommends the following tips to help secure your home and harden the target:

•SURVEILLANCE/SECURITY CAMERAS: Web based surveillance and doorbell camera systems will alert and allow homeowners to immediately view and monitor activity from any smartphone or computer which are motion sensor activated and will alert your device when there is activity. They will also lend valuable information and clues to the investigation.
•ALARMS: Ensure that security alarms are in good working order and set when not at home whether leaving for 10 minutes or 10 hours. Accessible upstairs doors & windows should have alarm sensors and upstairs rooms should have motion sensors to include the master bedroom.
•ALARM RESPONSE: Consider a private patrol alarm response to enhance your current alarm and security system. In many cases private patrols are already contracted in many neighborhoods or associations.
•MOTION SENSOR LIGHTING: Install motion sensor lighting around your home to illuminate normally dark areas around the home. This will also alert residents to outside activity around the home when motion lights are activated.
•GATES: Ensure that all gates and access points to the side or rear of the residence are locked and secured.
•DOOR AND WINDOW LOCKS: Ensure that all doors and windows are locked and secured with sturdy secured locks and that there are second locking mechanisms securing all doors and windows as a second line of defense.
•MAKE IT LOOK LIKE YOU’RE HOME…Even when you’re not.
•NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: Monitor suspicious activities in your neighborhood and alert your neighbors. Should the activity escalate to a crime about to occur, crime in progress or crime that just occurred, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY!
•SECURITY PATROLS: Consider after hours on site security at construction sites or major remodel projects. Many neighborhoods contract with private security patrols which monitor neighborhoods and can quickly respond to burglar alarm activations or reports of suspicious activity when they occur.

You may access crime mapping at www.crimemapping.com to review recent crimes in your area. Sign up to receive alerts when crime is reported in your neighborhood.

E-Policing: http://www.lapdonline.org/e_policing
EMERGENCY: 911
NON-EMERGENCY: 1-877-275-5273
All other City Services: 311
Maria Gray
Senior Lead Officer
West Los Angeles Community Police Station
Office: 310-444-0744
Email: 30469@lapd.online
Website: www.lapdonline.org