A Los Angeles city councilman on Wednesday called for a $50,000 reward to be offered amid a rash of so-called "knock-knock" burglaries that have plagued the San Fernando Valley.
The motion, submitted by 12th District Councilman Mitchell Englander, is expected to be voted on by the council sometime next week. The move follows a spike in such residential burglaries in the early months of 2017.
The burglars have been known to travel in groups, targeting upscale homes in crimes that begin with a knock at the front door. If there's no answer, the street gang members break in and ransack the property within minutes - taking jewelry, cash and occasionally weapons.
"A lot of these are happening in gated communities where people have a false sense of security," Mitchell said at a Wednesday news conference attended by Los Angeles Police Department officials.
The proposed $50,000 reward is for information leading to the arrest and conviction of "knock-knock" burglars, some of whom have attempted to blend in while targeting neighborhoods.
"In the past, we have seen vehicles - we're talking Mercedes, BMWs, real high-end cars, sometimes with paper plates, sometimes not," LAPD Cmdr. George Rodriguez said.
Although some arrests have been made, a detective from the LAPD's West Valley Division said the suspects often post bail and continue burglarizing homes within days of their release.
"They are going out in the neighborhoods," Rodriguez said. "They are surveilling when the residents are coming in and out of their homes."
Several celebrities have been victimized by such break-ins, including former NBA star Derek Fisher, Laker Nick Young, Dodger Yasiel Puig, and singers Nicki Minaj and Alanis Morissette.
Councilman calls for $50,000 reward amid spike in 'knock-knock' burglaries