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

A note from LAPD Senior Lead OFFICER Maria Gray: Traffic Accident Scams

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

June 6, 2018

Traffic Accident Scams

During our weekly Crime Control Meeting, it was revealed that detectives believe there may a crew ofscam artists targeting drivers throughout not only the Brentwood vicinity, but also, the entire West LA area, if not the entire City.

It happens like this… an unsuspecting driver leaves a parking lot after shopping at a commercial establishment (most recently, a shopper leaving the Ralph’s market at Bundy and Wilshire was targeted but thankfully, she did not fall for the scam). After a minute or so, the suspect’s car will drive up behind them or pull alongside them and begin honking frantically and yelling for the victim to pull over. When the victim does, the suspect then approaches the victim usually while the bewildered victim is still sitting in their parked car. The suspect then insists that the victim just hit their car in and claims that the victim is now trying to leave the site of the traffic accident, essentially, accusing the victim of a Hit & Run.

The suspect typically will use flailing arms and loud accusations intimidating the victim and claiming that he’s going to call the police. This intimidation serves to get the victim to ultimately comply with his demand for money to ‘cover the deductible’. There may even be a bit of paint transfer as part of the scam to further convince the victim that they unwittingly hit the suspect’s car. Or, while the victim is dealing with the suspect’s accusations, a second suspect will come up alongside the passenger side of the victim’s car and remove their purse from the front seat. This is actually an old modus operandi in which they often, but not always, target elderly or lone drivers.

At the time of this note,there is no suspect/vehicle description to share. A couple of the incidents involved lone Males,either of White or Hispanic or Middle Eastern decent. The car descriptions have been variable.

If you suspect that you are being followed or if you find yourself being directed to pull over by a total stranger, please take a deep breath and continue to drive to a well-lit location: ideally, a police station, or a gas station, populated strip mall, or any well-lit, busy, location where there will be many eyes. Do not drive to your home. If or when you do decide to stop make sure your doors are locked (you should always drive with your doors locked anyways) and have your phone in your hand ready to push 911. And don’t worry about their accusation of‘Hit & Run’… If you can articulate that you were seeking to find a safe place to pull over, it will likely be considered as reasonable and understandable to police. In fact, ifyou believe that you’re dealing with one of these scammers, calmly tell the suspect that you are calling police, and then do so. This may make themscadaddle and leave you alone. Let them go, but try to be a good witness while you wait for police to arrive: physical description,license plate, vehicle description, etc. Thank you.

All the best,

Maria

Do you have RING? be sure to take a trip through Ring Neighborhoods

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RING APP
Anyone can download the Ring app for free and receive theft/security alerts which are posted by neighbors with Ring doorbells.
Once you’ve installed your Ring app and set up your Ring device, be sure to take a trip through Ring Neighborhoods.
Click to download the RING app

From LAPD Senior Lead Officer Maria Gray: Brentwood is Easy Target for Auto Burglars

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From SLO Maria Gray:
During a recent deep cleaning of our Community Relations Office, the cleaning crew inadvertently severed my phone line and broke the phone jack. I’ve created a ‘work order’ for a replacement but in the meantime, my phone is out of order. Please email me if you have questions or concerns at 30469@lapd.online Or the main office number for our Community Relations Office is 310-444-0735. I’ll send out another notice when the repair is made… Thanks for your patience!!

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.lacity.org
Website: www.lapdonline.org

From BHA mailing
Brentwood is Easy Target for Auto Burglars

A group of teenagers who regularly visited Brentwood to engage in car theft have been arrested. They stole expensive cars, such as Teslas, Mercedes, BMW etc, which they drive around town, trying to find chop shops. Owners leave cars unlocked, and often with their FOB on the console inside. As teenagers, they are subject to catch and release treatment. When asked why steal cars in Brentwood, their response, “because it’s so easy.”
So please, lock your cars, even if you are running inside for a second!

The city plans to allocate more officers, mainly for South Brentwood where burglaries are higher.
BCC minutes

According to Lead Officer Maria Gray, “each success these thieves have provides them with the positive reinforcement that draws them back to our community.” The safest way to protect your car is to park it in your garage. If you can’t do that, purchasing a LoJack or other GPS device may help retrieve your car and deter future criminal activity. Please heed this advice BEFORE you become a victim and we will ALL be safer.

LA Police Dept. Sr. Lead Officer Maria Gray: UPDATE on Door Checking

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Senior Lead Officer Maria Gray provides additional information on avoiding becoming a victim of this crime.

A note from… OFFICER Maria Gray: “Door Checking”

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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

January 31, 2018

“Door Checking”
It was brought up today in our Crime Control meeting that several residential surveillance cameras located east of the 405 freeway have captured images of suspects conducting ‘Door Checking’ throughout the neighborhoods. This happens virtually everywhere unfortunately, and it’s worth a discussion to be aware of and to prevent becoming a victim.

‘Door Checking’ is simply a modus operandi of property crime suspects who walk up and down the street, mostly at night, pulling on car door handles to see if they were left unlocked to steal the car contents. If you see a suspect ‘checking’ car doors, that rises to the level as a ‘crime in progress’ (or about to be in progress) and is suitable for a 911 emergency call.

But a new added variable is that they are now expanding their door checking to include the residences. They’ll pull on a door handle of a car parked in the driveway and if unsuccessful, they go up to the house and pull on the residential door as well. If left unlocked, they enter but typically don’t go in very deep into the house—they are looking for purses or car keys on the entry table, or laptops on the coffee table, etc., that they can quickly grab and leave with. Our victims don’t even know they’ve been burglarized until after they wake up the next day. In one case, the alarm went off and woke the victims up who immediately checked their living room. When they didn’t notice that the victim’s purse was gone they went back to bed unknowing that the suspects had been in their home. Very unnerving, to say the least.

All this is even more reason to have instant notification type surveillance systems on the perimeter of your home that will alert you immediately to your Smart phone—which is typically kept at night by your bedside and accessible to you.

Lastly, if you are a victim of a theft/burglary of your MAC or other Apple device, please alert the officers taking the report whether you have a tracking device (find my I-phone) and if you’ve taken any steps to track your device. If you’re comfortable with it, you can have the officers include your Apple ID/password for the detectives to utilize. Although the suspects will try and wipe clean the device asap, sometimes the ‘tracks’ will serve toward obtaining a search warrant for detectives. All the best, Maria

Westside is getting more cops to patrol and police our neighborhoods!

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Dear Friends,
I’ve got some great news to share — the Westside is getting more cops to patrol and police our neighborhoods!
As part of an effort to enhance public safety, one year ago this week, I launched a major initiative to convince LAPD to refocus on neighborhood policing. That work has paid off: just this week, LAPD assigned 12 more officers to the 11th District — and more will be added over the next few months.
I am very grateful to Chief Charlie Beck for making these assignments, which will help make our neighborhoods safer, curtail crime, and improve response times. The new resources are already making a difference. LAPD tells me that the extra cops helped its Pacific Area bust a prolific car burglary ring this week.
For too long, fewer and fewer cops were assigned to patrol our neighborhoods, and far too many people were telling me that they rarely saw a patrol car in their neck of the woods. It was the result of a decades-long trend of de-emphasizing basic neighborhood policing in favor of specialized details and elite crime suppression units. Now, as my colleague Joe Buscaino and I proposed in our “Back to Basic Car” plan, the LAPD is moving officers from specialized details and into our neighborhoods, and hiring more civilians so well-trained and able-bodied officers can move from desk duty to neighborhood patrols and community policing.
This is an excellent example of the good that can come from neighbors working together to move Los Angeles forward, do good and get things done for our neighborhoods. Thank you to the hundreds of people who signed petitions in support of our “Back to Basic Car” program, and who joined us to call on LAPD to increase the presence of officers in our neighborhoods.
There is still work to be done, but I wanted to make sure to share this exciting new with you. Please send me a message at councilmember.bonin@lacity.org if you have any questions or if I can be of any assistance.
Regards,

MIKE BONIN
Councilmember, 11th District

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