Grand Theft Auto Increases, Theft Decreases
By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
As crime decreased across West Los Angeles in 2019, Pacific Palisades saw a jump in grand theft auto.
Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore reported an increase of 37% in grand theft auto—stealing a car with the intent of keeping it—across the Palisades.
“The community needs to continue to take steps to keep their own homes and property safe,” Moore said. “I bet if you walked onto Alma Real right now, you’d probably look in five different parked cars and find that they have something of value. Clothing, phone chargers, a few loose coins—these are the things cars get broken into for.”
In relation to home security, Moore suggested a loud alarm and an alarm system that provides coverage to the entire house.
“Some burglars will get into homes through the second floor, and a lot of people don’t think to have the second-floor windows or balcony doors set with alarms,” Moore said. “Throughout the Palisades, Brentwood, Bel-Air, that is a common entry point for criminals.”
In 2019, Moore reported that the Palisades saw a decrease of 12% in theft.
The last thing he suggested is to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings.
“Making eye contact with somebody may prevent a crime from happening because criminals are relying on the element of surprise,” Moore said. “Whether you’re walking out of your home or down Antioch going to one of the cafes, always be aware of who is around you.”
Overall violent crime for the West LA division, which covers the Palisades, Westwood, Brentwood, Bel Air, Century City and more, went down 17.4% in comparison to 2018—the second year in a row to have a decrease.
Commanding Officer of the West LA Area Jonathan Tom said it’s difficult to identify what exactly drives crime increases and decreases, but mentioned the different ways the department has been getting involved. This includes tackling the issue of homelessness, and their efforts to get people off the streets and into safe housing.
“Our officers have been really good at getting people services and placed in homes, for people who want to,” Tom said. “The issue isn’t easy, you can’t just attack it with enforcement.”
Tom added that officers have also been more present.
“The chief of police has mandated a return of more officers to patrol divisions,” Tom said. “There are more officers driving around than in the last few years.”
Property crimes, including burglary, grand theft auto and theft, in West LA also generally decreased by about 13.7% in 2019.