Saturday, October 22, 2016

Eastside home remodeling attracting burglars


Contractors and construction workers remodeling homes from Los Feliz to Eagle Rock face numerous challenges, from finding parking to neighbors complaining about dust and noise. Now, there’s another thing to worry about: burglars. The LAPD Northeast Division is warning contractors to take extra precautions after burglaries have increased at construction sites since the second week of July, with theives making off with power tools, pipes and even appliances from vacant homes.

About two to three burglaries a week are being reported in neighborhoods across the area, said Detective Mike Bland, who heads the burglary and theft unit at the Northeast Division.  The vast majority of the crimes are taking place at unoccupied homes that are being remodeled, not at larger construction sites where multiple homes are being built.

“People are moving in and remodeling,” said Detective Mike Bland, who heads the burglary unit at the Northeast Division. “It’s become a fruitful environment for these kind of thieves.”

Bland said the burglars are busting windows and cutting padlocks to gain access.  But in some cases they just walk into vacant homes through missing doors and windows.  “The construction workers get there and their stuff is gone,” Bland said.

It’s not clear if a crew of burglars is responsible or if some workers are returning to the job site to steal items, he said.

Bland is asking senior lead officers to stop by construction sites to warn contractors and workers about the problem.

“Take your tools or  lock them up,” he said. “Try to secure the location”

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