Safety Report from Our Lead Officer Maria Gray
Brentwood Crime Stats 8/31/19
I’ve been attending many meetings recently, sharing with the community just how low crime is as of late. But let’s not celebrate and relax ourselves into a sense of complacency. Below is a burglary tip prevention check list that serves as a reminder that we all need to still stay vigilant and aware. Also, I invite you to peruse our LAPD West LA Division Twitter and Facebook accounts. Via these medias, our Crime Analysis Detail (CAD) is now posting recent crime stats, community alerts and bulletins, and maps of crime spiked areas towards increased community awareness. What makes this unique is that postings are specific to particular areas within West LA. Keep in mind that if you live in Brentwood, you live within LAPD’s Basic Car Area 8A13.
Residential Burglary Prevention Tips
Make sure your doors and windows are always locked. And I mean all windows. Even bathroom windows. It has been speculated that more than half of break-ins occur through first-floor windows. So, securing these should be a top priority. Second floor windows are also vulnerable, much more so than you would expect. People leave ladders and other items like patio furniture, etc., that burglars make use of to hoist themselves onto the 2nd floor balcony and right into your open bedroom window. And don’t forget to secure side doors and garage doors as well.
Thorny bushes under windows will make thieves think twice before going in that way. Also, keep your bushes and hedges trimmed to a minimum; don’t give thieves a place to hide while they scope out your place. Gravel and loose stones can also alert you (or a dog) that someone is approaching your house. And make sure your yard is well-lit during the night!
Burglars are considerably less likely to burglarize a home where there are dog(s) inside than not. Dogs are a lot of responsibility and they can be expensive. I have three dogs and they’re a lot of work. Please only get a dog if you’re truly going to care for it as it deserves.
Make sure your valuables are hidden from passerby’s. Use privacy curtains (sheer curtains that let in light but block the view) so people can’t see in while you’re away at work.
Security experts say most thieves don’t want to smash sliding-glass doors because that’s too noisy. They’d much rather slide it open. To prevent this, secure your sliding door by placing a sawed-off broom handle in the track to prevent it from opening.
If you’re going away for a week, don’t tell people on your answering machine or social media accounts that you’re out of town. Also, don’t tell the taxi or Uber/Lyft driver that you’re going out of town. If you have luggage, I just mention to the driver that my whole family is inside and I couldn’t get any of them to give me a ride to the airport. If you’re going to be away, make sure you purchase a timer that will automatically turn on lamps when it gets dark. Also, either put a temporary stop on your mail, or have a neighbor pick up your mail, packages, and newspapers so your home doesn’t look vacant.
Make sure you religiously back up your computers and laptops in the event those items are stolen. And again, keep valuables out of sight. Take pictures or video of your valuables. Know serial numbers, the model numbers and purchase prices of your most expensive items. The insurance company will want this information if it’s stolen.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, in today’s day and age, you want to be notified instantly to your Smart Phone if someone is at or entering your house or property. There are various inexpensive and easy to install systems that do just that and provide you footage of the person that is stored up in the ‘Cloud.’ With these systems, you can also call 911 immediately and give a detailed description of who’s doing what at your home, even if you’re away at work or on vacation.
If you do discover that your home has been burglarized:
*Don’t go into the house. If you’ve already walked in, leave immediately. The thieves may still be inside, and it’s not worth your life to find out.
*Call the police from your cell phone or from a neighbor’s house.
*Don’t touch anything. The thieves might have left fingerprints.
Feel free to contact me should you have any questions or comments. All the best,
OFFICER Maria Gray
Senior Lead Officer for Basic Car 8A13, Brentwood Area
Los Angeles Police Department
West Los Angeles Division
I am very happy to report that there is now a free App that will notify you on your smartphone or similar device of real-time police and fire activity and emergency calls for service within your community.
Officers and Detectives cannot reiterate this enough… Please, please, PLEASE, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE FOBS OR KEYS IN YOUR CARS!!!
Our Auto Detectives advise that at present, the West LA average for vehicles stolen from our area, and ultimately recovered, which have the fobs or keys within the vehicle is well over 40%. Nearly HALF!!! In fact, a few weeks ago, we experienced a trend wherein 100% of the cars stolen in a one week period from the West LA Area involved victims who left their fobs or keys within their cars. This is crazy!!
Fortunately, Brentwood’s violent crime, as compared with this same time last year, is down over 58%. Property crime is also down, by 2.6%. However, we’ve had ten more burglaries than we had at this same time last year. We don’t want this trend to continue.
To get people thinking defensively, or to learn or adjust to big city life, I thought it would be interesting to share a few things that most cops would never do…