Coldwater Canyon residents worried over rash of burglaries


Residents say two homes have been burglarized in the last two weeks. The suspects kicked in the front doors. In one case, a woman, who didn't want to reveal her name, hid in a closet and called 911.

"I didn't want to confront them, because I didn't want them to hurt me or attack me," she said. "They had gone through everything. Doors, cupboards, drawers, they ripped a safe out of the floor."

She says it took more than half an hour for police to arrive. That's because parts of Coldwater Canyon are in the LAPD's West Los Angeles Division, which is about a seven-mile drive on congested streets.

Lt. Rudy Lopez says the West L.A. Division does have the added challenge of patrolling a 65-square-mile area bordered by Pacific Coast Highway and Coldwater Canyon. He says crime is actually down.

"West L.A. alone has shown a significant reduction in crime for 2013, about 6 percent in part one crime, which is included in burglaries and robberies," said Lopez.

Neighbors think burglars know they can get away before police arrive.

"I believe they are coming to this area because it's West L.A. Division, which is on Butler, and I think it's so far from us they feel they can get in and out real quickly," said area resident Candace Greene.

Greene and her neighbors are banding together to put thieves on notice. She says some residents have bought guns, hired private security and installed security cameras.

A man was recently spotted on one resident's front porch, and a woman was caught on surveillance footage stealing a package from a doorstep.

"I think that the community is afraid and I think that something needs to be done and something needs to be stopped," said Greene.

Police say residents are doing the right thing by looking out for each other. They also say residents should contact police if they see anything suspicious in order to give authorities a better chance to catch the criminals.

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