The city of Cerritos provides residents with a regular report on crime in the city. The following is the report for Jan. 13-19.
There were 19 Part I felony investigations conducted by members of the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station during this week’s reporting period. Three robberies were reported, but only one residential burglary, which is a nice decline from the 4.3 reported weekly in 2013.
With the exception of auto thefts, all other Part I crimes also decreased last week. Car burglaries decreased by five from the ten reported the previous week, and auto thefts increased from four to five last week. Calls for service also increased from 244 to 262 last week. Of note was that alarm calls dropped to 25 from the weekly average of 39.
The three robberies during this period were committed at a shoe store, a pharmacy, and at a do-it-yourself car wash on Pioneer Boulevard near Del Amo Boulevard. On January 16th about 7:30 p.m., a suspect described as a white male walked into the Payless Shoe Source in the Towne Center and placed several items on the counter, showed the clerk a gun, and demanded money. He fled the location with a pair of shoes, some socks, and about $50 in cash. A short time later, just before 10 p.m., a suspect of similar description entered the CVS on South Street and approached the front counter, produced a gun, and demanded money. The suspect was able to abscond with an unknown amount of money.
The final robbery occurred at the car wash on Pioneer Boulevard on January 18th at about 7:15 p.m. A gentleman was washing his car when a suspect described as a male black in his 20s walked up from behind and pointed a handgun at the victim. The suspect demanded money and the victim handed over a small amount of cash from his wallet. The suspect was last seen running north on Pioneer.
There is good news to report as the two suspects responsible for these three robberies have been arrested. Although the details are still unknown at this time, officers from the Cypress Police Department have arrested the suspect responsible for the Payless and CVS robberies. In addition to his crimes in Cerritos, he has also been linked to robberies in Anaheim and Fullerton. The suspect in the robbery at the car wash is also in custody following his arrest by detectives from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau.
Only one residential burglary was investigated during this period, but it was noteworthy. On January 16th at about 3:30 p.m., a resident on Destino Place was entertaining a friend when a man described as a male Hispanic knocked on her front door. He claimed to be working on the landscape in the yard behind her home and asked if he could go into the backyard to inspect her side of the fence. The resident let the man in through the side gate and once in the backyard he asked that the victim’s friend also join them. After the friend exited the house the man received a telephone call at which time he answered and began speaking in Spanish. A few moments passed and the victim’s telephone began ringing inside of her home. When the victim’s friend went inside to answer the phone she saw a second man running through the house toward the front door. The first man then quickly ran from the backyard and both men fled the neighborhood. Upon inspection both ladies observed that a bedroom had been ransacked and various items of jewelry were missing.
Distraction burglaries are not common, but they do occur in Cerritos from time-to-time, and the suspects usually target older residents. The suspect poses as a utility worker or some type of repairman, but the idea is always the same: get a resident to come out of the house under the guise of inspecting an area out of view of the front door and an accomplice quickly goes inside and straight to the master bedroom where money, jewelry, and other valuables can be found.
Whenever anyone shows up unannounced at your door with a story about needing to come inside of your home or in the backyard, be wary. Consider sending the individual away until you can check out the problem for yourself, usually by calling the Gas Company, Edison, or whatever company the guy is representing. If you do agree to let the person into the side or rear of your property, lock your front door and meet him at the side gate. Never get out of view of the entrances to your home.
There were no commercial/“other structure” burglaries reported this past week.
There were five vehicle burglaries this past week. One occurred during early morning hours at a residence on Reva Street, where three IPods were stolen. The other four crimes occurred in public parking lots, one at the Towne Center and the others at commercial business lots. A third row seat was removed from an SUV, and a purse and wallet were stolen from a vehicle parked at Liberty Park.
Finally, in the category of grand thefts and grand theft auto, tools were stolen from Cerritos Lexus, copper cable from AT&T and a camera lens from a photo business in the Los Cerritos Center. There were also five vehicles stolen, four 1990s era Hondas and a GMC Yukon, all taken from public parking lots throughout Cerritos.