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Eagle Rock burglars take time to eat and drink during one of several recent break-ins


BY LUCY GUANUNA

EAGLE ROCK –– Eagle Rock business owners are considering hiring private security following a rash of burglaries targeting restaurants and small businesses along the neighborhood’s main commercial streets, including one break-in during which burglars washed down their meal with some beer.

According to police, at least five businesses along Colorado and Eagle Rock boulevards have been broken into since Christmas Day. But Detective Adam Altamirano with LAPD’s Northeast Division said the police have yet to identify any suspects.

Camilo Gonzalez of Camilo’s California Bistro said his Colorado Boulevard restaurant was broken into Christmas night. The burglars broke through a rear entrance that was protected by a metal door. They ransacked the restaurant and took iPads, business checks and a week’s worth of earnings, said Gonzalez. The burglar’s even had time to drink some beer and eat some food.

“The alarm went off, but by the time the police got there, they were already gone,” said Gonzalez.

Burglars attempted to break into the pet supplies store Rock Dog and Cat around New Years. This wasn’t the first time shop owner Peter Berman had to deal with a break in. Burglars broke into the pet supplies store two months prior.

“The store is right next to a 7-11 that’s open 24 hours a day and where police hang out,” Berman said. But, “these burglars are so brazen that they would rob my store.”

Gonzalez said the burglaries have been going on for more than a month and business owners, fearing that they will be hit next, are working on hiring private security. They’re trying to see how many business owners on Eagle Rock and Colorado Boulevards would want to get involved and pay for the service.

“They don’t have enough police at night time,” Gonzalez said. “It’s something you always expect but it’s usually in the summertime, not in winter.”

Altamirano said that there has been a bit of a spike in burglaries in Eagle Rock, but he believes it’s nothing unusual.

“It’s like in any case, where there are essentially no witnesses, we reach out to the community, we get prints and collect all the video and then go from there. Prints and DNA helps, but it takes some time and we’re waiting for those prints to come back,” said Altamirano.

He said at this time in the investigations, it is too early to tell if the burglaries are linked, but it is a possibility.

Surveillance footage from Little Beast, which was broken into December 30, is being used in the investigations.

“We are looking at some individuals, but there is nothing solid at this point,” said Altamirano. “Hopefully somebody will recognize the person in the video and it will lead to an arrest.”

Related Link:

Eagle Rock businesses deal with a flurry of burglaries.

Lucy Guanuna is a freelance reporter who has covered a variety of issues, including business, education and social justice movements in her native Los Angeles. Her work has been published in the Daily Sundial, L.A. Activist, and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

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12 comments

  1. *New Year’s, is in “New Year’s eve or day” not New Years as in multiple years. That’s on of my biggest pet peeves this time of year.

  2. What I don’t understand is why do the business owners have to hire private security? It is no secret and nothing new that the LAPD is practically useless but why do we the taxpayers not hold them to higher standards? We pay their salaries and thus they work for us. Time after time I hear of people calling the LAPD about a crime taking place and officers don’t show up until many hours later if at all.

    • bicurious, Yes, the Police work for us but if there are not enough of them to respond to every call at every moment of the day and day, individuals and business owners must come up with ways to protect themselves and their property. If it means spending additional monies, it is probably worth it.

      • LAPD officer with a high school diploma $59,717 is the starting base salary for Police Officer I upon entering the academy. The officer will earn this rate until graduation from the Police Academy. Upon completion of the academy and assignment to the field as a probationary Police Officer I, the officer shall be paid $62,974. The pay does not reflect overtime! Add an additional 20K to 30K minimally.

        Inexpensive guards typically work for an “observe and report” agency, which contracts security guards who are not trained to act in high-risk situations, but report events to the police. An unarmed security guard typically costs $12-$20 per hour, while an armed security guard costs typically costs $18-$25 per hour.

        So what’s wrong? Well, Downtown LA hasn’t seen this much construction since the 1920’s. Chief Charlie Beck along with City Officials are investing resources to clean up the area. Law enforcement resources are not fairly distributed throughout the City based on census population reports. Until the communities demand their fair share of city services and protection, little will change! It’s amazing how many law enforcement personnel are at galas, awards, and sporting events. As for us, everyday neighborhood residents, we need to wait long periods for a patrol car to arrive to a crime in progress.

        Mayor Garcetti and City Officials made a bid for the Summer 2024 Olympics. Why? I personally would love to see the Olympic Games back in Los Angeles. Yet, I believe we need to prioritize and make sure we are improving the quality of life for all Los Angeles residents. What’s wrong with LA?

        Well – Mr. Mayor, crime is on the rise, graffiti is everywhere, homelessness is unmanageable, increase drug consummation, gang violence, a reactive law enforcement, and then there’s traffic, public transportation and so on….

        But, “I still LOVE LA!” And, it’s up to us demand the BEST and accept NO excuses!

  3. There’s been several caught and charged “transients” in Eagle Rock burglaries with the same M.O. Trashing the place, eating, drinking showering, yet it can’t be discussed, because its politically incorrect to call these meth heads out.

    • I’m with you! These hipster PCniks refuse to criticize meth-addled, gun-wielding crazies because they’re afraid of the backlash from meth-addled gun-wielding crazies! What a world! Thanks, Barack!

  4. Hi my mom’s business was one of the three that got robbed across the street from trader joes and they have private security they have post and that didn’t do any good so alarms and cameras are probably the best unless you can find a better security than post. Just saying

    • That’s too bad. Usually it’s a few idiots that are responsible for committing the majority of crimes. They will misstep soon and will be caught. Cameras are a good idea to help identify who the culprits are. Just saw a clip that aired on the news of a car thief in HP caught on video. He is bound to be ID’d – probably not his first rodeo either, so back to jail for him. The video is on KTLA BTW. Hopefully your Mom will be able to resume business as usual without too much disruption. Good Luck!

  5. The police are hardly ever enough to secure a property. Any one who thinks the popo rolls up to catch the robbery in process when the alarm goes off has watched too much TV.

    What does end up happening is victims get tired of the complacency and start policing their own property. You’ll know we reached the tipping point when we start hearing about burglars getting shot by the merchant.

  6. LAPD….barely able to keep up with crime in Eagle Rock – what a force. Not to mention I haven’t head of a single arrest in conjunction with mail theft.

    • U.S. Postal Inspectors have jurisdiction over that beat.
      They are the ones to call for investigating crimes involving U.S. Postal Mail, but finding an active phone number to reach them is difficult enough to get most people giving up right then.

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