Surveillance cameras at the building I live (near Franklin and La Brea) caught a bicycle theft in action. As you can see from the video below, a man in a construction helmet and reflective vest is able to casually rip off a bike with the help of bolt cutters. As he finishes, a tenant walks right by, thinking nothing of the thief.
This video, which shows the pathway between the building’s backdoor and parking lot, was taken last Tuesday, August 12th, shortly after 8am. The theft itself wasn’t reported to building management for 3 days.
Valorie Keegan with the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council tells me that similar incidents have been reported of thieves posing as DWP workers and tree trimmers. And couple days after the bike theft, a neighbor reported that another man dressed as a construction worker tried to talk his way onto building property claiming he was with the housing department.
During both incidents heavy construction has continued on the street in front of the building, lending the perps plenty of opportunity to blend in.
While I hope the DWP and police take this situation very seriously, this incident demonstrates the need for residents to be more vigilant and report crimes as they happen.
If you see someone suspicious or out of place in your neighborhood, report it ASAP, to your building management, the police, and your neighbors.