By Mary O’KEEFE
There has been a lot of discussion lately regarding recent burglaries in the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County/La Crescenta. The concerns voiced from neighbor to neighbor seemed to be sparked by postings on social media sites.
Tonight, Thursday, Sgt. Cynthia Gonzales will briefly discuss the recent burglary and other crime statistics at the Crescenta Valley Town Council meeting at the La Crescenta Library community room at 7 p.m. But a more focused meeting has been scheduled for Monday at 6:30 p.m., also at the library’s community room, where residents can meet and discuss burglary issues as well as other concerns with CV Sheriff’s Station Capt. Bill Song.
The recent social media posts, as well as emails and phone calls made to CVW, seem to indicate that residential burglaries are on the rise in the area; however, the statistics, at least through April, show there was just one more residential burglary reported this year than last year. Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept. – Crescenta Valley Station states recent statistics of residential burglaries from January to April, 2015 there were nine. From January to April 2014, there were eight residential burglaries and in the same period of 2013 there were 24.
Residential and vehicle burglaries have been a focus of the CV Sheriff’s Station. Recently there were arrests made of burglary suspects.
“We have made several arrests,” said Sgt. Hector Mancinas of the CV Sheriff’s Station. The investigation of other possible crimes related to those arrests are still under investigation.
Each week the LASD at CV Station sends CVW crime reports for that week. This information is normally relayed to our readers in the Crime Blotter, but, in response to the growing concerns, below is a recap, as well as newly received residential burglary reports, covering the area of La Crescenta (these do not include the La Cañada area). The reports below are taken from the CV Sheriff’s Station:
On Tuesday, a residential burglary occurred in the 3000 block of Cloudcrest Road. Suspect/suspects appeared to have entered the residence through an unsecured side gate then smashed the glass of a sliding door in the back of the home. Rooms in the home were ransacked and miscellaneous jewelry, credit cards and cash were stolen. The burglary occurred between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
On Sunday, a residential burglary occurred in the 5400 block of Pineridge Drive. A resident locked his doors and left his home earlier in the day. When he returned he found that the door at the side of his home that leads to his backyard was open. He then found the glass of a sliding door in the back of his home shattered. Rooms in the home were ransacked. Jewelry and cash were stolen. A sergeant conducted a search of the neighborhood, speaking with residents; however, no one heard or saw anything. The burglary occurred between 5:30 p.m. and 11:20 p.m.
On June 8, a residential burglary occurred in the 2800 block of Henrietta Avenue. A suspect/suspects appeared to have entered the garage that is detached from the home and stole two Cannondale bicycles. The door of the garage had been left open. Both bikes were hanging upside down on bike hooks connected to the ceiling. The burglary occurred overnight between June 8 and 9.
On May 29, a residential burglary occurred in the 5400 block of Pine Cone Road. The resident of the home reportedly parked her vehicle in the garage. She did not lock the vehicle and the garage door was left open. The resident’s purse and a Bluetooth device were stolen from the vehicle. Interviews were conducted with neighbors but no one saw or heard anything. The burglary occurred between midnight and 6:30 a.m.
On May 14, a residential burglary occurred in the 3100 block of Pontiac Street. A resident reported that he had parked his unlocked vehicle inside his unlocked garage and left his home. When he returned he found the driver’s door was slightly ajar and that his wallet, which he had left in the center console, had been stolen. The burglary occurred between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Arrests were made where suspects were in possession of tools commonly used during burglaries.
On June 7, a 19-year-old Los Angeles man was arrested in the 600 block of Normandie Avenue in Los Angeles. A CV Sheriff’s detective received a call from the L.A. Police Dept. Olympic Division regarding the suspect who was wanted for a residential burglary that had previously occurred on Altura Avenue. While searching the suspect’s property, investigators allegedly discovered tools often used in committing burglaries, as well as access cards not in his name.
On June 2, a 21-year-old Altadena man and another man and woman, both 19 years old and both from Pasadena, were arrested after a routine traffic stop in the 5200 block of Angeles Crest Highway. The deputy reported a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle as he approached. After deputies conducted an investigation they allegedly discovered gloves and a spring-loaded glass/window punch. According to the report, in many of the recent local burglaries there were reports of a female driver and female and male passengers who will knock on the door of homes, apparently to make certain no one is present, and then force their way into the home often times by breaking windows or glass doors. One deputy reported one of the suspects was wearing a black hoodie, which was odd because the weather was so warm. After further investigation deputies allegedly found a BB handgun that did not have an orange tip on the end of the barrel, which gave it the appearance of a genuine handgun. Deputies also allegedly found what appeared to be a controlled substance, codeine. The three were arrested for suspicion of a controlled substance, possession of burglary tools and (reasonable cause) burglary.
On May 6, a Sacramento woman, a 25-year-old Sacramento man and a 28-year-old Carson man were arrested after a routine traffic stop. The deputy reported a strong odor of marijuana emitting from the inside of the vehicle; however, the windows were deeply tinted and he could not see the occupants clearly. They allegedly told the deputy they got lost while looking for an aunt’s home that was near the Glendale (2) freeway and the Shell service station. At the time they were in the 5700 block of Evening Canyon Drive in La Cañada. The deputy reported the man in the front passenger seat appeared to match the description of a man who had been reported going to homes in La Cañada and knocking on front doors. After investigating, deputies found that the vehicle the driver and passengers were in was a rental car. They discovered cash, several high quality purses and alcohol, which none of the suspects claimed as their own. Deputies also reportedly found a window punch, socks and gloves and a mask. Upon further investigation deputies found that many of the items matched stolen items out of West Covina.
The far north area of Glendale and Montrose has seen a decrease in June compared to May in residential burglaries.
“We have had two residential burglaries and two thefts from vehicles north of Foothill Boulevard and in the Sparr Heights area. [And] we have had three petty thefts and one stolen vehicle,” said Officer Abe Chung, Glendale Police Dept. “All other property crimes have been spread out in the north area totaling 13 so far this month.”
As of late, the increase in property crimes has been about seven more per month as an average this year, he said.
Law enforcement advises residents to keep doors locked, including garage doors, and if possible back gates. Anyone who sees something or someone suspicious can call CV Sheriff’s at (818) 248-3464 and GPD (818) 548-4911. With any emergency call 911.