(Feb. 5, 2010) -- A standing-room only crowd filled the community room at LBPD's North Division station on Thursday night (Feb. 4) as North Division Commander Dave Hendricks updated area residents and businesses on recent events in Bixby Knolls/Cal Hts.
Among the issues that came up during Q & A at the meeting of North Division Community Leaders:
A number of audience members asked about the issue...and some said their homes had been burglarized. Commander Hendricks acknowledged that there have been a number of home burglaries in Cal Hts. He said the number of residential burglaries in 2009 is higher than a year earlier...and noted that residential burglaries declined for the previous two years (2008 and 2007).
We have made a number of arrests...We have a number juveniles that are going around during the daytime for the most part, commiting residential burglaries. [It's] the kind of guys that knock on your door, offering to sell you something if you open the door; they need an excuse to talk to you...[I]f you don't answer the door, they're breaking into your house; they're going around to the back and forcing entry to your door and they're stealing from you. Most of those kids that we're arresting for that are not gang members, some yes but most no. We've made a number of arrests in the area for burglary...and [we're conducting] daytime loitering operations...knowing that most of our suspects are juveniles...It's the worst violation in the world when somebody breaks into your home
Community advocate John Deats said there's a perception among Atlantic Ave. business owners in Bixby Knolls of a crime wave taking place with (by their calculation) nine incidents over the past two months; Mr. Deats asked what light Commander Hendricks could shed on this.
...It's not one crew coming in here and ripping-up along Atlantic Ave...I don't believe that the biggest one out of that group is connected to anything else...I hope to have the robber with the gun [that hit two businesses] in custody [in the coming days]...That's all I can hope for. Out of that one night [when there were four incidents, Jan. 27, reported by LBReport.com], there was one actual burglary [with a loss].
[LBReport.com follows-up, asks to what extent the four Jan. 27 incidents are anomalies or representative of conditions] That's an anomaly...It's just not that normal to have...that many incidents in one concentrated area like that. I've seen one time vandals that go up and down one block and down the next block breaking car windows and we'll end up with forty car windows just because one guy went on a rampage; I mean that's an anomaly but that's what I liken it to...I don't believe those incidents were related; we have nothing to indicate that at this time...
Among those also spotted at the community meeting: Councilmembers Tonia Reyes Uranga and Rae Gabelich (staffers from both offices also present); 7th dist. Council candidate Jack Smith; 9th dist. Council candidate Dan Pressburg; Cal Hts. Neighborhood Ass'n President John Royce; community advocates Claudette Powers, Mike Kowal and Dave San Jose; Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Ass'n Exec. Dir. Blair Cohn; North Redevelopment Project Area Committee chair Martha Thuente; NLBCAG president Laurie Angel and spouse Chuck Fowler.