Home Burglaries – home burglaries have been on the rise recently, with four of them ocurring within a week of each other in early January. There has not been one reported since then. Most have occurred in the daytime, and they have entered through a side or back door or window. In some cases the door or window has been unlocked. In most cases there was no security alarm activated. Secure your home. Set alarms, lock doors, windows, gates, etc. Be aware of cars/trucks cruising or parked that don’t belong. They may pose as gardeners or workers so as not to look suspicious. Get license plate numbers of suspicious vehicles.
Stolen Cars – most of this occurred on main streets such as Riverside, Cahuenga and Moorpark, although there were a few on residential streets.
Auto Burglaries – This is a crime with by far the highest number of occurrences in Toluca Lake over the years. This has been prevalent in the underground parking areas of apartment/condo units where they would “window smash” several cars. This crime is the most preventable….simply don’t leave valuables in the car. This includes portable GPS systems. In most cases the crime occurred because they saw something valuable in plain sight. If they see it, they will take it!
Solicitors – Toluca Lake has been inundated with solicitors, largely magazine solicitors. This is not unique to Toluca Lake, but occurs throughout the U.S. These magazine solicitors are dropped off in vans and will hit a neighborhood extensively for days. They are extremely aggressive, and use these tactics to get money. There has been a lot of negative press about these solicitors, from scamming people to violence. The most recent occurred nearby in Winnetka where the homeowner was beaten and the home was ransacked. The reason was because the homeowner changed her mind about the subscription! In 2009 a magazine solicitor vandalized a neighbor’s yard and fence in anger. In 2008 two of them were caught burglarizing a home on Woodbridge. The LAPD recommends you don’t open the door, but let them know you are not interested. Once you open the door they use their aggressive tactics. We’ve heard on several occasions neighbors that give them money just to leave. Some solicitors may be opportunists. If they see valuables that are easily accessible they may come back to take it.
Trash Raiders – these are people going through the blue bins for recyclables. This is illegal as this is City property when put out on the street. It is also recommended that you shred any sensitive documents. One way to mitigate this activity would be to put out the trash early morning on pickup day.
Paparazzi – are a problem peculiar to Toluca Lake. In itself this is not illegal, unless they are doing something illegal such as speeding or trespassing.
Homeless – there is a large homeless population in L.A. In 2009 we’ve had incidences of homeless people breaking into vacant homes and squatting.