Carolyn Seitz of the Sheriff's Community Advisory Committee sent out this email to all newsgroups on the rash of burglaries:
Greetings to you all,Many of you are aware, some more painfully than others, that we are experiencing a big spike in burglaries in Altadena - both residential and auto.
These burglaries are not isolated to Altadena. They are occurring all over Southern California.
Many gangs seem to have burglary teams.
You may recall that at the beginning of summer, one group of burglars was caught in La Crescenta, and they were tied to Altadena burglaries. Within a few days, another burglary suspect was caught in the act in West Altadena.
Yesterday, two sets of burglars were caught outside of our area, all gang members. It is likely that one of the sets of burglars will be tied to some of the burglaries in Altadena. It is currently unknown whether the second set will be connected to any of the burglaries here.
Altadena residents are experiencing residential burglaries all over Altadena, and we all should pay attention to any groups of two or three or four people, could be men or women, walking the neighborhood, knocking on doors, looking for opportunities. If there is no response at the door, they often head to the rear or side yard to looks for ways to gain entry. Some will defeat security systems, and dogs are not a deterrent.
If someone inside the house answers, the burglars will often make up some story, about car trouble, or a lost dog or "looking for a friend who lives here".
It was reported by one neighborhood in Central Altadena yesterday that someone gained entry by removing a window air conditioner. In another neighborhood, the family burglarized indicated that entry was made through a window on one side of the house, but that the burglars had also opened a window and door on the rear, perhaps to exit quickly if necessary.
The most recent rash of auto breakins, also occurring all over Altadena, is a smash and grab, the vehicle window is broken and a visible GPS system is grabbed. These breakins are occurring in the early morning hours, between midnight and 5 am.
In the residential breakins, the suspects often work in teams, with one or two canvassing for opportunity and others waiting in a car down the street, or around the corner.
If you see people walking in your neighborhood who are unknown to you, it's a good idea to just call the Altadena Sheriff's Station, describe what you're observing and the deputies will come out. Please do not confront strangers yourself. It is much better to let the deputies talk to them. It may be that they have a legitimate reason for being there, but it's also possible that they do not. Let the deputies sort it out.
It is also recommended that you park your cars in your garage if you have one. Do not leave any valuables in your car, especially those things that are easily grabbed. That includes portable GPS units, phones, MP3 players, handbags, wallets, coins, computers, or anything else that gives burglars an easy choice to make.
When in doubt about anyone in your area, call the Sheriff's Station. 626 798 1131.
Stay vigilant, stay safe and don't make it easier on burglars and thieves.