About two weeks after her red Kia was stolen, Veronica from Echo Park was notified a few days ago that the sedan with a Chicano Batman sticker in the rear window had been found on Alvarado Street north of Sunset Boulevard only a block away from where it was stolen outside her apartment. She paid $331.81 to get the Kia out of the impound yard. The car sustained only minor damage but Veronica remains upset about the theft and annoyed that police don’t seem to be doing anything about a recent rise in car thefts and burglaries in her part of Echo Park west of Alvarado:
This area is getting really crazy regarding home burglaries and car thefts … I have a feeling whoever took my car was most likely living on the same street as me. LAPD does not car about our possessions but I do – this ordeal has been all of that – an ordeal. I think it needs to be known that my area since the beginning of July has seen a rise in car thefts and LAPD ain’t doing a damn thing about it.
LAPD Senior Lead Officer Al Polehonki looked into the matter and and found reports of one burglary, two vehicle break-ins, and two vehicle thefts in the area between Glendale Boulevard and Benton Way between Aug. 14 and Sept. 10. That does not seem like much crime. But Polehonki found clusters of vehicle thefts and break-ins nearby.
Polehonki, citing recent crime statistics for Echo Park and nearby Silver Lake said:
The most distinct patterns of activity are in the neighborhoods near the end of the Glendale Freeway on either side of Glendale Boulevard, with 10 Vehicle Burglaries. The other is in the area of Berkeley Ave and Silver Lake Blvd, with 6 Vehicle Burglaries. The majority of them occurred during the late night, early morning hours.
While we do use a variety of strategies to target these “Clusters of activity”, our greatest difficulty remains in the fact that items are being left visible inside these vehicles.
Kind of like, “If you leave it, they will come and take it”.
While grand theft auto is not as frequent, late model Hondas and Toyotas are still the most common vehicle stolen, Polehonki said. He recommends that car owners who don’t have anti-theft device invest $11 in a car lock.
Veronica says she has already taken extra steps to protect her car:
The extra security precautions are, I MOVED! Yep I left Echo Park for a more serene way of life.