Editor's Note: The information below comes from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Cerritos Station's weekly crime summary.
The logged just 18 Part I felony investigations during this period, up from seven the week before. There was an increase in all categories with the exception of vehicle burglaries. Field personnel handled 271 calls for service, and the new 2011 weekly average in calls for service is 257.
A robbery was reported on Friday, March 18 at 9 a.m. when a male suspect was stealing motorcycle accessories in a lot at the Cerritos Towne Center. The victim of the theft walked up to the suspect, prompting him to run to his vehicle. The thief then drove toward the victim, who jumped out of the way to avoid getting hurt.
There were three residential burglaries and two other attempts during this period. In the attempted break-ins, the suspects tried to pry a “dog door”, and a rear sliding glass door. Both openings had prying marks.
In the three completed burglaries, the thieves gained entry through open/unlocked doors or windows. Cameras, handguns, cash, cell phones, checks, suitcases, and laptop computers were stolen. The new 2011 weekly average in residential burglaries is 3.4.
Sheriff's safety tip: Alarm systems are a proven deterrent to residential burglaries. If a sign is visible in front of the residence that indicates the home is protected by an alarm system, research has shown that the burglar(s) will most always seek another target. There have been numerous cases reported where entry had been attempted but the suspects have fled upon realizing an alarm has been triggered. For a minimal installation cost and monthly fee, we strongly recommend that you equip your home with a system. Check with your home insurance carrier as most companies offer discounts for the use of alarms.
COMMERCIAL/OTHER STRUCTURE BURGLARIES
There were three commercial burglaries reported during this period, and all involved closed businesses. Two of the property owners did not know how entry was made, and the third involved a hole that had been cut in a rear door. Losses included cameras, laptop computers, clothing, and face cream. There were no reported commercial burglaries the week before. The 2011 weekly average in “other structure”/commercial burglaries is now 2.9.
Vehicle burglaries dropped from three to two during this period. Both break-ins involved SUVs and occurred in high-volume commercial parking lots. Paperwork and a third-row seat were taken. The new 2011 weekly average in vehicle burglaries is 5.4.
Sheriff's safety tip: Thieves will go through residential tracks in vehicles, on bicycles, and on foot and look into parked cars in hopes of finding something valuable to steal. If you leave these items in the car, you stand a very good chance of losing them. Remember, vehicle burglary is the number one felony crime in Cerritos.
One vehicle theft was investigated from a high-volume commercial parking lot that involved an SUV. There were no reported vehicle thefts the previous week. The 2011 weekly average in vehicle thefts is now 2.3.
Sheriff's safety tip: Using a steering wheel locking device will offer a good visible deterrent to the would-be thief. While there have been cases reported where the steering wheel is cut to allow the theft, these are very few in numbers. These devices are inexpensive and let the car thief know that more work will be required to take your vehicle. There are many more in a parking lot for the criminal to target that are not equipped with a locking device.