Hollenbeck Division Police, which covers the areas of Boyle Heights, El Sereno and Lincoln Heights, has been experiencing an increase in thefts and burglaries from motor vehicles this year compared to last year, when the department had some of the lowest numbers in crime, according to Detective Suzy Frank.
“We have a lot of older cars here and they’re the easiest ones to break into,” said Frank.
Although March had the highest spike in stolen cars, ranging in areas across the division, there have been 26 auto thefts and eight burglaries from vehicles since the beginning of the month in Boyle Heights alone, says Frank.
She adds, some of the highest incidents in recent weeks have occurred along the Lorena corridor between 1st and 6th streets in Boyle Heights.
Earlier this year, Hollenbeck police launched “Lock it, Hide it, Keep it,” a citizen awareness and crime prevention program that reminds residents to lock their vehicles and keep their valuables with them or out of sight.
Crime groups have been walking the streets warning possible theft victims and leaving flyers with information on how to protect their cars. They’ve also provided free steering-wheel auto-theft devices to registered owners of commonly stolen models, such as Hondas and Toyotas.
“It’s about being vigilant, making citizens aware and not leaving keys or anything easily accessible,” said Frank.
Detectives call it “opportunistic crime” when people leave their belongings in clear view and urge the public to take 30 seconds to remove cell phones, purses, and anything of value in order to prevent a crime.
Anyone with information about an incident can call LAPD Hollenbeck Station, Community Relations Office at (323) 342-4140