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LAPD: Don’t Leave Valuable Property in Vehicles

Auto detectives warn that many car burglars are drug addicts who take undue risks to commit crimes.

The LAPD’s auto unit at the Northeast Community station is recommending that resident not leave any valuables in their vehicles—including construction tools or equipment—to prevent their theft.

The advice comes in response to Patch’s inquiry about any leads that detectives might have into the December 1 burglary of some $1,000 worth of construction tools from the pickup truck of Floristan Avenue resident Stuart London.

The burglary, which occurred on the night of last week’s windstorm, was the third such incident on the 4800 block of Floristan Avenue. A video surveillance camera installed on the block captured images of the robbers and their car as they drove away after stealing electrical equipment and tools from one of London’s neighbors, Joel Kelley, in less than a minute.

“Unfortunately, it’s one of those crimes that happens in the middle of the night and there are no clues for us,” said Jeana Franco, the head of detectives at the Northeast station’s auto unit. Images from surveillance cameras are invariably so grainy that “you can’t I.D. a suspect and you can’t I.D. a license plate,” she added.

Usually, the LAPD catches car-borne burglars “in the act,” explained Franco, adding that state authorities, under federal pressure, are “letting out all these low-level offenders who are the kind of people who break into cars.”

Typically, auto burglars also tend to be drug addicts who are not averse to taking risks to get their next fix, Franco said. “That’s why it’s important not to put your valuable property in vehicles.”

The LAPD has put extra patrol units in Eagle Rock and its vicinity, “specifically looking for burglars of motor vehicles,” Franco said.

Meanwhile, Joel Kelley, who recorded images of the burglars stealing goods from his pickup truck, wants readers to know that the robbers were driving a white-colored, two-door Thunderbird with tinted windows. (See the accompanying video, which shows the car driving off after the robbery.)

jayres December 08, 2011 at 11:17 PM
I would love to get the highest resolution copy of that video and do some color correction on that. Sometimes when you bring down the highlights, things that appear to be lost in white can actually be recovered. If there is any detail left in the imagine you might just be able to read the plate number. The other thing I wondered, isn't there traffic cameras set up at some of the major intersections that can be cross referenced, maybe a little before or after the time of the robbery. Perhaps, I've seen too many Bourne movies, but I thought the city had cameras set up to monitor traffic(just like when Shia Leboeuf got in that accident and traffic cameras proved he was hit by a car that ran a red light) Anyway, someone put me in contact with Joel Kelley so I can mess around with that footage.
Ajay Singh December 09, 2011 at 12:22 AM
Thanks for taking such an interest in this, Jayres. I think I have your email address—emailing you right now to confirm—and will ask Joel Kelley to get in touch with you.

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