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    LBPD Warns Of Jump in Car Thefts Citywide

    (April 1, 2005) -- LBPD says it has noticed a "sizable increase in auto thefts in all areas of the city."

    In a written release, it says during January and February 2005 "a total of 714 vehicles had been reported stolen, in comparison to 544 which had been reported stolen in January and February of 2004, a 31% increase. Of the 714 reported stolen during January and February 2005, 365 of them were older model (80ís/early 90ís) Toyota Camrys and Corollas, and Hondas Civics and Accords. The time most of the thefts are occurring is between 7:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m."

    The release continues:

    It appears as though many of the vehicles are being stolen primarily for transportation, as many of them were recovered within a few days; however, there are vehicles being stolen solely for parts. Officers recently arrested a 17 year-old from Long Beach and an 18 year-old from Lakewood for charges including vehicle theft, grand theft and receiving stolen property.

    The department is conducting undercover operations, and is focused on identifying and arresting suspects responsible for the vehicle thefts.

    Residents are strongly encouraged to practice a few simple crime prevention tips, which could prevent them from becoming a victim of vehicle theft:

    • Never leave your keys in the vehicle
    • Keep your vehicle locked
    • Remove valuables or lock them in the trunk
    • Invest in an anti-theft device (steering wheel lock, alarm, ignition kill switch)

      And if you want additional information on protecting your vehicle or property, contact LBPD's Community Relations Division at (562) 570-7215.

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