By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
“Normally I like to come here and tell you how crime is down,” Los Angeles Police Department Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore shared at the February 27 Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting. “Can’t do that today.”
Compared to this time last year, as of March 3, robberies were up by three, burglaries by six, seven car break-ins and two thefts.
“All small numbers,” Moore explained, “but it’s still up.”
Grand theft auto incidents have decreased by eight.
Moore said one issue he is really looking at is vehicle break-ins, because they are the most preventable.
“I’ve done some research,” Moore said. “Only about one-third of the break-ins are Palisadians. The rest are people who live elsewhere.”
Moore said the reason is most people in the Palisades know about the Lock It, Hide It, Keep It program, which was launched by LAPD in August 2010 to inform the public of burglary and theft from motor vehicles, providing a “few simple steps to keep from becoming victims of these crimes,” according to the LAPD website.
The program includes three parts: lock the vehicle every time it is unattended and lock valuables in the trunk; if there is no trunk, hide valuables under the seats, in the glove box or other available compartments; and keep your items—“personal responsibility is the best prevention to safeguard personal property and to prevent becoming a victim.”
“I’m asking you to spread the word, not just to Palisadians but anyone you come across,” Moore said of the program. “If you can, get a chance to squeeze it into that conversation—Lock It, Hide It, Keep It—because the only way to keep the crime down is everybody does the same thing.”
Moore added that if a person does not present offerings to criminals, they will go somewhere else to find them.
“Simple as that,” he said. “Overall you will make your neighborhood safer if you keep your cars clear of goods.”
Moore then answered questions from board members and attendees, including an inquiry if the crimes were being committed by the same person or group of people. Moore responded there is an issue on Los Liones, where it’s probably the same person going to that area repeatedly, but that often, credit cards are stolen and used right away.
“If they use it at the wrong place, we’ll get video of the person using it,” Moore explained, “so we catch a lot of them after the fact.”
Moore said the department is in the process of installing signs near trailheads that remind hikers and others parking in the area to secure their belongings.