Griffith Park car break-ins spur new awareness campaign for visitors


Car break-ins in Griffith Park are up nearly 25 percent from last year, and police say there have been about 17 car-related crimes in June and July. The crimes include burglaries and grand theft auto. The thefts have mostly occurred near the golf courses.

City officials introduced the "Lock It, Hide It, Keep It" campaign as a reminder to visitors to help prevent thefts. There are 21 new signs posted around the park, mostly at the entrances.

Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge has helped publicized the new safety campaign. He says the same group of criminals has been hitting the park. He's hoping they'll stop if visitors lock up their cars and hide their valuables.

"If a fisherman knows you go down to San Pedro, go to a certain spot and fish and get 17 fish, he's going to go back to San Pedro because there's good fishing," he said. "Same thing here. If someone knows they can go to a location and they think nobody is watching, they will come back again."

Police say by simply locking up cars and hiding valuables, visitors can keep their property out of the reach of criminals.

"Of the 75 crimes that happened so far this year where cars are broken into, 30 percent of those crimes people left their cars unlocked," said LAPD Capt. Jeff Bert. "There's a whole slew of criminals out there who will just walk by and test for unlocked doors."

While some visitors have not yet noticed the signs, some of which have been up for a few weeks, police say the criminals are paying attention.

"We put up the signs July 29, we've had one break-in so far," said Bert.

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