Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Recent Altadena Break-ins

From our Sheriff Community Liaison:

Many of you are aware, some more painfully than others, that we are experiencing a big spike in burglaries in Altadena - both residential and auto.

These burglaries are not isolated to Altadena. They are occurring all over Southern California.

Many gangs seem to have burglary teams. You may recall that at the beginning of summer, one group of burglars was caught in La Crescenta, and they were tied to Altadena burglaries. Within a few days, another burglary suspect was caught in the act in West Altadena.

Yesterday, two sets of burglars were caught outside of our area, all gang members. It is likely that one of the sets of burglars will be tied to some of the burglaries in Altadena. It is currently unknown whether the second set will be connected to any of the burglaries here.

We all should pay attention to any groups of two or three or four people, men or women, walking the neighborhood, knocking on doors, looking for opportunities.

If there is no response at the door, they often head to the rear or side yard to look for ways to gain entry. Some will defeat security systems, and dogs are not a deterrent. If someone inside the house answers, the burglars will often make up some story about car trouble, or a lost dog, or how they're "looking for a friend who lives here".

It was reported yesterday that someone gained entry by removing a window air conditioner in central Altadena. In another neighborhood, entry was made through a window on one side of the house, but the burglars had also opened a window and door on the rear, perhaps to exit quickly if necessary.

The most recent rash of auto break-ins are smash-and-grabs. The vehicle window is broken and a valuable is grabbed. These break-ins occur in the early morning hours, between midnight and 5 am. In the residential break-ins, the suspects often work in teams, with one or two canvassing for opportunity and others waiting in a car down the street, or around the corner.

If you see people walking in your neighborhood who are unknown to you, it's a good idea to just call the Altadena Sheriff's Station, describe what you're observing and the deputies will come out. Please do not confront strangers yourself. It is much better to let the deputies talk to them. It may be that they have a legitimate reason for being there, but it's also possible that they do not. Let the deputies sort it out.Park your cars in your garage if you have one. Do not leave any valuables in your car, especially those things that are easily grabbed, including portable GPS units, phones, MP3 players, handbags, wallets, coins, computers, or anything else that gives burglars an easy choice to make.

When in doubt about anyone in your area, call the Sheriff's Station. 626 798 1131.Stay vigilant, stay safe and don't make it easier on burglars and thieves.

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