Melrose residents say violent crimes on the rise, urge city to do more to prevent them

BEVERLY GROVE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Surveillance cameras caught a crew of suspects stalking a target who was staying at an Airbnb along Melrose Avenue.

Authorities said four men jumped the tourist, stole his valuables and got away.

People who live in the area are at a loss.

"We're furious. We're furious because we feel like we're not being heard and these types of instances are just escalating. Not only in the amount of violence that's being perpetrated on victims, but also just the number of violent crimes are rising," resident Nina Todd said.

Todd said in the past year she's noticed a staggering increase in crimes like that. But Paul Koretz, the councilman who represents the area, said the city and Los Angeles police are aggressively handling the issue.

"It's, I would say, an exaggeration to say otherwise. Aggravated assaults are down - homicides are at zero, last year they were at zero. For the most part, you couldn't do much better than what we're doing in terms of crime reduction," Koretz said.

But police said the Melrose Avenue business district has been dealing with a recent rash of robberies. Todd said many people who live in the area are scared to go outside.

"I believe that there are many crimes that aren't reported that occur every day if Councilman Koretz took the time to go on Nextdoor and see what neighbors are speaking about and the instances that are occurring every day. I think he'd have a very different opinion," she said.

The man in the video lost a Rolex watch, his passport and wallet. While he wasn't taken to the hospital, police said he was beaten up.

The suspects remain on the loose.

Neighbors are planning a meeting for next month, where they will confront Koretz and talk to police about what they can do as a community.
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