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.”
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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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