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Cerritos Weekly Crime Recap: Nov. 19 to Nov. 25

With the holiday season is upon us, the Cerritos Sheriff's Station reminds everyone that that thieves know residents will be stocking up on numerous gifts that will be stored in homes.

Editor's Note: The information below comes from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Cerritos Station's weekly crime summary.

For the second consecutive week there were 27 Part I felony crimes investigated by members of the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station. Robberies increased and commercial burglaries remained the same. Declines were noted in residential burglaries, vehicle burglaries and vehicle thefts. Patrol deputies responded to 274 calls for service last week, up from 263 the previous week. The 2012 weekly average in calls for service is 271.

ROBBERIES

Five robberies were investigated last week. There were none the previous period.

On Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 7:31 p.m. a male suspect entered the Walmart in the Cerritos Towne Center, produced a handgun, and robbed cash from a register.

Approximately 30 minutes later, another male suspect robbed the Taco Bell/KFC fast food restaurant in the 13300 block of Artesia Boulevard.

Approximately thirty minutes after that robbery, a male shoplifting suspect fought with loss prevention personnel at a retail store in the 11500 block of South Street but was taken into custody.

On Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 5:35 p.m. a male suspect wielding a handgun robbed at gas station in the 11000 block South Street.

The final case of the week occurred on Friday, Nov. 23 at 12:30 p.m. when a male suspect entered Comerica bank in the 11300 block of South Street, passed a demand note to a teller and escaped with cash. The suspect in that cased has been labeled the "Tiger Bandit" by local authorities, including the FBI who has linked him to five other bank robberies.

RESIDENTIAL BURGLARIES

Residential burglaries dropped from six to three last week. One home was entered through an unlocked window, one via a front door that had been kicked in and the third case was facilitated by a shattered window. The suspect in the latter crime was arrested at the scene and the property was recovered. Property reported stolen included cash, jewelry, and a camera. The 2012 weekly average in residential burglaries is now 5.1.

Sheriff's safety tip: As the Holiday Season is upon us, thieves know that residents will be stocking up on numerous gifts that will be stored in homes. Many will “advertise” merchandise by placing items under a tree in a front window. The Cerritos Sheriff’s Station/Community Safety Center would like to remind residents that storing items in an inconspicuous place (laundry room, garage, bathroom, attic, etc.) will make it more difficult for a burglar to locate. Their primary target is the master bedroom in most of these crimes. Use some creativity in where you hide items, and remember that securing all doors and windows also helps.

COMMERCIAL/OTHER STRUCTURE BURGLARIES

Commercial burglaries remained at four for the fifth consecutive week. Three of the crime scenes were closed businesses and one was a storage unit. An unlocked door, a shattered window and a pried front door were used as entry points at the closed businesses. Phone accessories were stolen. A Nativity set, a suitcase and clothing were stolen from the storage unit. Deputies arrested the suspect in that crime and recovered the listed property. The 2012 weekly average in “other structure”/commercial burglaries is 2.4.

VEHICLE BURGLARIES

Vehicle burglaries dropped from eight to six last week. Five of the recent crimes took place in high-volume commercial parking lots and six were SUVs. Backpacks, an X-Box, purses, wallets, a briefcase and an MP3 player were taken. The 2012 weekly average in vehicle burglaries is 7.0.

Sheriff's safety tip: GPS units continue to be a primary target in local vehicle burglaries. Drivers tend to leave them mounted on dashboards or windshields of vehicles making them highly visible to occupants of a vehicle driving by. In a quick second, the item is stolen. We are also seeing more shopping bags containing gifts taken. These had been left in the passenger compartment of vehicles and were readily accessible to the thief. Take the moment to secure your GPS unit and any other item when you leave the vehicle so it cannot be seen from outside of the passenger compartment.

VEHICLE THEFTS

Vehicle thefts were also down from six to five last week. Four were taken from high-volume commercial parking lots. Two Hondas, an SUV, a Toyota and an Acura were stolen. The 2012 weekly average in vehicle thefts remained at 3.5.

Sheriff's safety tip: Protect your investment with some form of security. At the very least, a steering wheel locking device. This is a good visual deterrent that makes the would-be thief think about locating an easier vehicle to steal.

 * Visit www.safercerritos.com for an extensive library of crime prevention tips, disaster preparedness information, and a variety of links to other pertinent sites.

Volunteers on Patrol Wanted 

The Cerritos Sheriff’s Station is seeking Volunteers on Patrol (VOPs). Patrolling the city in distinctly marked vehicles, VOPs assist with crime suppression, traffic control, vacation checks, special events and park security checks. They serve as additional “eyes and ears” for the Sheriff’s Department and train as first responders in the event of a major emergency or disaster. If you are interested in helping Cerritos maintain its reputation as a safe place to live and work, the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station encourages you to apply to be a VOP.  

For more information, contact the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station at (562) 860-0044, or visit the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station to obtain an application.  

Block Captains Wanted 

Block Captains act as contacts for the Sheriff’s Department and the Community Safety Division on behalf of their neighbors.  They are also responsible for distributing information and do a great deal to promote public safety in Cerritos. Remember, informed citizens who use safe living strategies are safer citizens!  We encourage residents, business owners, and their employees to consider joining the Virtual Block Club (VBC). If you are interested in helping our Sheriff’s Department prevent and reduce crime, and enhancing your own personal and neighborhood safety, join the VBC on-line at our website devoted to public safety in the City of Cerritos. We encourage you to share the information with your family, friends, and co-workers. Go to www.safercerritos.com to sign up. 

If you are interested in becoming a Block Captain in the Cerritos Neighborhood Watch, contact the Community Safety office at (562) 916-1266.

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