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LA Police Warn That Expensive Jewelry Worn in Public ‘Can Be a Target’

The region has experienced an increase in robberies, many of them armed.

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The Los Angeles Police Department is advising residents to be vigilant amid a spike of robberies, many involving a weapon.

“Over the course of this year, the Department has experienced an increase in robberies taking place in various communities in the City of Los Angeles,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a statement. “Most concerning is that there has been an increase in the levels of violence used during these robberies and the frequency in which a firearm was used.”

In a list of tips, he included the following: “Over the last year there has been a marked increase of armed robberies involving victims wearing expensive jewelry while in public. If it is visible, it can be a target.”

KTLA-TV noted that the advisory followed “a long string of brazen smash-and-grab thefts and robberies of people wearing expensive watches or jewelry in the Los Angeles region.” The latest was the March 24 smash-and-grab robbery of Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills. KABC-TV reported that five suspects broke the front window and at about 2 p.m. The store owners said the robbers made off with between $3 million and $5 million in jewelry.

Beverly Hills Police Chief Stainbrook released a statement on the incident:

Chief Stainbrook understands the community frustration regarding the crime that happened today at 203 South Beverly Drive. The Chief is willing to discuss with any person or group the reality of the current regional crime situation. Immediately, BHPD is adding a camera trailer, extra security patrols, and extra special watch from officers to South Beverly Dr. The Beverly Hills Police Department continues to hire new officers and engage new technologies to keep the City safe. The City and Department also need the help of the District Attorney’s Office and our State Legislators.

In Los Angeles, police released the following statistics:

  • Citywide robberies are up 18 percent year-to-date compared to 2021, and up 5 percent compared to 2020.
  • Year-to-date, citywide robberies with a firearm are up 44 percent (+221) compared to 2021, up 57 percent (+261) compared to 2020, and up 60 percent (+270) compared to 2019.
  • Year-to-date, citywide robberies with a firearm have accounted for 36 percent of all robberies and accounted for 74 percent of the year-to-date total robbery increase.
  • South Bureau and 77th Street Area had the most robberies with a firearm.

According to the release: “The Los Angeles Police Department is closely tracking the increase in armed robberies, including various suspect and vehicles descriptions of those responsible as well as assigned additional detective and plainclothes personnel to a task force investigating follow home/follow off robberies. Information regarding armed robberies is being shared with our surrounding police departments and the Los Angeles Sheriff Department. Numerous arrests have been made and Federal and State prosecutions are being pursued.”

The department issued the following tips:

  • Over the last year there has been a marked increase of armed robberies involving victims wearing expensive jewelry while in public. If it is visible, it can be a target.
  • Traveling in groups and remaining in well-lit areas can help deter opportunists from attempting a street robbery.
    Always be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to those around you.
  • After shopping, make it a habit to take a different route home and pay attention to vehicles and pedestrians behind you. If you think you are being followed, change your route and call the police.
  • In the event a person is approached during a robbery, especially when armed with a firearm, the department encourages victims not to resist. No property is worth the risk of loss of life.

LAPD stated that it “remains vigilant of the numerous incidents occurring in the City of Los Angeles and urges you to be aware of your surroundings at all times.”

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