Reports of car break-ins, one of the most common crimes in the city, are down for the first nine months of this year.
There were 23,632 reports of thefts from vehicles from Jan. 1 – Sept. 30, 2019 in the City of Los Angeles, a 4% decrease from the 24,623 reports during the same period in 2018, according to LAPD data.
While car break-ins are down, thieves are getting more creative with what they steal.
One report chronicled the theft of Carlos Tejada’s car battery overnight on Oct. 4 in the Adams-Normandie neighborhood. Tejada, a resident of Riverside, had left his silver 2005 Toyota Corolla parked outside a friend’s house before. He discovered the break-in around noon the following day when he tried to start the car and nothing happened.
“I lifted up the hood and found it missing,” said Tejada. “I was upset, but luckily I have good insurance, and they brought me a new battery in under an hour.”
Although thefts from vehicles were down in the first half of the year in Downtown, the neighborhood saw a slight increase of these thefts during the first nine months of this year. Hollywood had an increase of 4% over the same time last year.
Koreatown saw a decrease of 10% in reports of theft from vehicle from the same time last year.
Elsewhere in the City of Los Angeles, Mid-Wilshire residents saw a 60% increase in reports of thefts from vehicles from the same time last year.
“When we see a jump in something like Mid-Wilshire in thefts from vehicles, that’s something that would have come to the attention of the division thats policing that area and it’s definitely an anomaly,” said Det. Meghan Aguilar, an LAPD media relations spokesperson. “It could have been one location and several vehicles that were broken into overnight. We see that in apartment structures a lot where numerous cars are broken into by the same suspect but all are reported differently.”
Det. Aguilar said the LAPD has a “Lock It, Hide It, Keep It” campaign that reminds people not to leave anything visible in their car. She also said if you plan on leaving something in your car, take away someone’s temptation to steal from you by making sure your valuables are out of sight because people won’t know if there’s anything valuable or not in a bag they may see.
How we did it: We examined LAPD publicly available data on reports of theft from vehicle, burglary from vehicle, as well as attempted thefts and burglaries from vehicles for the first nine months of 2019 compared to the same time period last year. For neighborhood boundaries, we rely on the borders defined by the Los Angeles Times. Learn more about our data here.
LAPD data only reflect crimes that are reported to the department, not how many crimes actually occurred. In making our calculations, we rely on the data the LAPD makes publicly available. On occasion, LAPD may update past crime reports with new information, or recategorize past reports. Those revised reports do not always automatically become part of the public database.
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