By Mary O’KEEFE
Glendale and Crescenta Valley law enforcement are advising residents not to leave valuables in their vehicles. Both police and sheriffs have reported an increase in vehicle burglaries in the area.
On Monday three men were arrested on suspicion of vehicle burglary. At 5:11 p.m. a Glendale officer responded to a report of a vehicle that had been burglarized while parked near the Community Room at Crescenta Valley Park. The officer found the front passenger window shattered by an apparent blunt object. The victim told officers that she was inside the Community Room when a woman came in and informed her of the broken window.
A witness at the park reported that a man broke a vehicle’s window and took items. The witness then saw the man get into a nearby car with two other men and drive eastbound on Honolulu Avenue. A Glendale police helicopter was able to find the described vehicle entering the eastbound Foothill (210) freeway. Officers stopped the vehicle in Pasadena. Inside were Edwin Garcia, 28, Jose Olivera, 27, and Jose Rivera, 21. All three were identified as members of a gang and are residents of Pasadena.
Glendale Sgt. Tom Lorenz praised the air operation officers for their quick response.
The arrests may have made a dent in the vehicle burglaries but the crimes still continue in both La Crescenta and Glendale.
A woman had parked her vehicle in the parking lot of a business in the 3800 block of La Crescenta on Tuesday night. She went into an office for about 20 minutes and when she returned to her car, she discovered that her passenger side window had been broken. The woman reported her purse stolen along with two bags of groceries from her trunk.
Later that night she was contacted by the Los Angeles Police Department and informed that her purse, along with others, had been discovered near the 6200 block of Foothill Boulevard in Tujunga.
“There were no arrests made but property that [was reported stolen from vehicles] was found at the scene,” said Det. James Jarvis of the LAPD.
Sgt. Ray Harley said this is the same pattern sheriff deputies have been seeing in the La Crescenta and La Cañada areas.
“We have found purses [reported stolen] left at bus stops on Foothill Boulevard,” Harley said.
Vehicle burglaries can happen at any time but normally they occur overnight; however the incidents that have happened lately have been in the late afternoon and early evening, Harley added.
“The best advice is to not leave valuables in your vehicle,” said Glendale Officer Matt Zakarian.
Some of the burglaries have been at gyms and business parking lots.
“We need to remind people not to leave purses and laptops on floor boards or in plain view,” Harley said.
Harley and Zakarian feel there is more than one group responsible for the burglaries and that more than likely they are from out of the area, like the three arrested from Pasadena on Monday.
Anyone who has information regarding vehicle burglaries is asked to contact the CV Sheriff’s Station at (818) 248-3464 or Glendale police at (818) 548-4840.