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How to Protect Against Vehicle Break-Ins

33 vehicles were broken into in Northeast L.A. during the week of July 8, including four in Eagle Rock. A new scam involves the theft of the unlocked third-row seat in SUVs.

From Sunday, July 8 through Saturday, July 14, at least 33 vehicles in Northeast L.A. were broken into, according to a news statement issued by the LAPD Northeast Community Police Station on Monday.

Exactly a third (11) of the break-ins occurred during daytime, and two-thirds (22) between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., the communiqué, from the Northeast Station’s Senior Lead Office said.

Based on statistics provided by CrimeMapping.com, a repository of nationwide crime data to which the LAPD is a contributor, four vehicles were burglarized in Eagle Rock.

Three of the burglaries occurred on Eagle Rock Boulevard and one at or near Eagle Rock Plaza.

The LAPD offers the following 10 tips to safeguard your vehicle from being targeted by auto thieves:

1. Never leave valuables in plain view in your vehicle. Thieves know that you hide your property under towels, sweaters and packages. Secure items in your trunk prior to arriving at locations. This includes recreational areas such as public parks and shopping centers.

2. Use some type of anti-theft device such as an alarm system or steering lock. If you are interested in buying a Club steering wheel locking device through the LAPD’s “11 for 11 program” ($12 if you take the 12 seconds to put it on) contact the LAPD’s Community Relations Office at (323) 344-5717.

3. Park in well-lighted or high-traffic areas.

4. Permanently mark property inside your vehicle with identification. The LAPD suggests using your driver license number or ID card number. In addition, owners of SUVs should note a recent trend in auto burglaries wherein unlocked third-row seats are stolen and sold on the used-goods market. According to Lewis Lenchuk, a detective in the Northeast Division’s auto theft unit, car dealerships don’t manufacture these third-row seats any more—“you have to purchase them on the used market” for anywhere from $300 to $500. Lenchuk suggests getting your SUV’s VIN number engraved on the third-row seat—a service that the Northeast Police Station provides.

5. Keep serial numbers of electronic equipment, such as computers, IPODS, GPS, and cellular telephones.

6. Never leave your car running and unattended.

7. Keep you vehicle doors locked and windows rolled up.

8. Don't leave personal identification documents in your vehicle. These include Vehicle Ownership Title, credit cards etc. Keep copies of license plate and vehicle identification number with you.

9. If you car is stolen or burglarized, immediately report it to the police.

10. Report suspicious activity or people loitering in your neighborhood.

Related: June Crime Blotter: The Menace of Auto Theft.

John Wayne's Honda July 17, 2012 at 09:35 PM
We had a bunch of break ins in our neighborhood. It seemed that it was mostly those who forgot to lock the doors (like me). I went around at 5am looking for around and found some of the things taken from my van, and noticed trunks opened car doors left open as these people made their rounds. The thieves did take my owners manual which contained my registration and insurance. I wonder if there is a black market for owners manuals or why they would have taken it. They also took the road side kit, but I found the jumper cables and some flares down the street, guess they wanted the bag it came in.
Marcus July 17, 2012 at 09:53 PM
What happens when you live on a street without lighting? Some parts of Eagle Rock don't have any, and residents are forced to park on the street. Not an easy solution when the city won't repair even sidewalks.
Bob G July 18, 2012 at 07:11 PM
For those fortunate enough to have a garage, and who are using it as a storage area for "stuff", consider re-purposing your garage back to a place where your car is parked each evening.

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