Thieves in Hollywood posing as DWP and construction workers caught on video

UPDATED BELOW

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.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH68uqV5T6U[/youtube]

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.

UPDATE: Zach at LAist has details of home invasions robbery occuring in Sherman Oaks by teams of men posing as DWP.

8 Replies to “Thieves in Hollywood posing as DWP and construction workers caught on video”

  1. The other alleged incidents notwithstanding, seems like it might be possible this wasn’t just a wannabe-clever thief in costume and an actual member of the construction crew. I’d be taking still of this video to the site foreman.

    PS. Not to armchair quarterback, but for long term periods out of sight from my bike I either employ a u-lock or keep it indoors. Just sayin’

  2. Will,

    For the record the site foreman was contacted and shown the video immediately after this was noticed – he said the guy was definitely not part of his crew. No reason to disbelieve him. That said, I’ve been informed that a DWP rep will be reviewing the video.

    And yes, I second the better securing of bikes and other property, best being out of sight completely.

    Regardless, people need to trust their spidey-sense a bit more, and be less passive about reporting such things. Its called looking out for each other.

  3. Here in Monrovia we have had home burglary’s with people posing as Fed Ex employees. They show up at doors jiggling handles and oops…if one opens they go in. One of my neighbors walked into her living room just in time to see the door open. She spooked the guy and he left. Another neighbor reported a similar incident. Yet another neighborhood blog in the NE part of town reported the similar.

    When economic times are tough people get desperate and those so inclined step up their criminal activities.

  4. lowest form of life right there; bicycle thief.

    cable locks DO NOT WORK folks. i’m certainly not blaming the victim, but the rest of us should be using pretty much any kryptonite chain or U-lock. or yeah, if at all possible, keep your bikes indoors.

  5. I have a theory that someone wearing a jumpsuit and carrying a clipboard can do just about anything.

  6. yeah evan, i’ve had the theory too. the clipboard especially. when questioned you simply ask for a signature.

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