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Vehicle Burglary Raises Questions About Better Safety

The incident is also an object lesson in not leaving valuables in vehicles.

An Eagle Rock resident whose vehicle was burgled Saturday is hoping that the LAPD will step up patrols in the neighborhood and that City authorities will install better lighting on his street as well as prune some out-of-control shrubbery on the sidewalk that appears to have provided cover to the burglar.

The resident, Ted H. (he does not wish to provide his full last name), lives on the 2300 block of Laverna Avenue, near Ellenwood Drive. He was getting into his Jeep Grand Cherokee at around 7 a.m. on June 9 when he noticed that the rear passenger side window was smashed.

Large chunks of glass lay on the seat nearby. “The first thing I looked for was my iPhone—a 32-gig iPhone 4,” Ted told Patch, explaining that he usually kept it inside the vehicle’s center console, between the driver’s seat and the front passenger seat.

The phone, which Ted says he purchased in the summer of 2011 for $650, was gone. However, an iPad case that he bought as a gift for his young nephew lay untouched nearby. The burglar, Ted believes, had no use for it.

But why leave an iPhone in such circumstances, thereby effectively ignoring the well-known law enforcement advice not to leave valuables in vehicles?

“I have a factory alarm [in the vehicle]—upgraded to a hyper alarm, and I was sure it would have gone off,” Ted says, adding: “The burglar got lucky.”

Ted figures that neither he nor his neighbor, in front of whose house the vehicle was parked, heard the Jeep’s alarm. The suspect evidently climbed into the vehicle through the window and did not open any of the vehicle’s doors, which might have set off the alarm.

The burglar appears to have been injured, however, apparently while trying to loosen pieces of glass in the Jeep’s window. The glass, Ted reckons, did not collapse during the break-in, as is often the case, but was held together instead by tinting film.

According to Ted, blood was smeared on the passenger seat (see photo), along with what appeared to be the burglar’s footprints. A detective at the Northeast Community Station took a sample of the blood, says Ted, after a technician downtown at the LAPD station on Los Angeles Street was unable to find any fingerprints of the suspect inside the vehicle.

“We don’t know if the thief was wearing gloves,” says Ted.

The LAPD “needs to beef up patrols and we need more street lights,” says Ted, adding that a prolific shrub planted on his stretch of Laverna enables burglars to “conceal themselves behind the branches.”

The plants, says Ted, have not been pruned in the two years that he has lived there.

preemero June 11, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Be more pro active in your neighborhood cut the limbs yourself or ask a gardner to do it give them a couple of bucks if you don't own the tools. Stop leaving expensive stuff in your car.
shereen jasper June 11, 2012 at 07:46 PM
A Garage had 2 heavy items taken from it between 10:00-10:30 am. The owner was home, dogs in the back yard, car in driveway, and garage door open. The thief was Brazen enuf to stop his SUV, load up the items from the Garage and drive off...Lucky that a neighbor was able to view the incident, get the SUV Lisc. Plate Number, notify the home owner and call the Police..Police were able to find the SUV and thief, and items.....all within one hour....Lots of lessons noted in the above,
Nelson R Grande II June 12, 2012 at 08:47 PM
My car was broken into last night. I'm not complaining and I certainly don't want more police around. I like a neighborhood where folks will take charge of their own lives. It was a learning experience for me and that's where it ends. I will clear the damage. I will bid a farewell to the lost items. And I will step up my PERSONAL policing. I will speak with my neighbors about it today. That way, I'll have an entire block on the lookout. I think that's better than two outsiders with guns who, personally, don't care about the car or the stuff in it. Get to know and empower the local community. Take personal accountability for your street's safety.
Ajay Singh June 12, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Sorry to hear about the break-in, Nelson—and kudos for dealing with it so stoically and independently.
Cheryl Leutjen June 14, 2012 at 10:41 PM
I don't leave any valuables in my car, but our neighbor across the street had two tires in his backseat. Last Saturday, someone tried to hotwire and steal his car and plowed it into ours! We woke up early Sunday morning to find the abandoned car still rammed into the back bumper.

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