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 Crime Alert Info

 

Many of you are aware of a recent robbery that occurred here in Hermosa Beach last week.  For those of you who are not aware, I will give you a brief summary of the event:  At approx 8pm in the evening a woman was walking alone in the 1000 block of Manhattan Ave.  She was confronted by three African-American males who demanded her purse.  One was armed with a pistol.  Upon seeing the pistol, the woman gave up her purse and the suspects fled to an awaiting vehicle.  The suspects then drove off rapidly.  The victim did her best to provide a description but candidly told us the incident occurred too quickly for her to provide full descriptions and she is unsure if she could recognize the suspects again.


This is a very serious crime.  Our City leaders and the Police Department are taking the matter very seriously.  This crime, may be related to similar crimes in Manhattan Beach over the past two weeks.  Manhattan Beach is currently investigating similar robberies and our detectives have been collaborating with their detectives as well as other law enforcement agencies in the South Bay to share our leads and knowledge in an effort to find these suspects.


The Department is currently utilizing its resources to not only solve this crime, but prevent further crime.  I have received many emails with questions, concerns, comments and suggestions on how to deal with this problem and I appreciate hearing from all of you.  However, I would be remiss if I did not point out a few facts about what we (the police department) can and can not do, what we are doing and what all of you can do to help prevent further incidents and possibly capture the suspects in this incident. 

It is with the utmost respect I feel the need to remind some residents that we live in Los Angeles County, an area with a diverse population of over ten million people.  We live in very close proximity to cities and neighborhoods that are not as fortunate as we are to live in a beach community.  These communities have very serious crime problems and they are impacted more severely by the tough economic times.  We are very lucky to live in a community that is much safer, has its own committed police force and residents that don't accept crime as a norm.  This is what keeps our community safer than many others.  That said; we are not immune.  We are not walled off from the outside world and in fact our tourism based economy demands that others come and visit us.  Some of those who come have and will take advantage of our lifestyle and also our sense of security by committing crimes such as this.  This is why we encourage crime prevention efforts and encourage you to call your police department whenever you see something suspicious.  As your Chief of Police, I want you to understand that we are here to answer those calls.  DO NOT feel you are bothering us or that we have more important things to do; if it concerns you, it concerns us, so make the call.  This is part of the "broken windows theory" of crime prevention.  If we pay attention to the smaller crimes and suspicious activities; we help prevent the larger crimes and problems. 


Specific to this incident; please rest assured we are doing our best to solve this crime and in addition we are taking steps to prevent future crimes.  Some of what we do, we do not publicize, such as stake-outs, sting operations or other enforcement methods, such as saturation patrols.  As for what you can do, we encourage the following: First, recognize that although serious, this crime struck like lightning and may or may not be related to what occurred in Manhattan, so we can not say with certainty that this is a crime series or pattern.  One crime does not mean our entire community is now unsafe or jeopardized.  However, the seriousness of the offense makes it important for us to ask you to take precautions such as walk or jog with a friend, keep your cell phone separate from your purse or wallet, keep your wallet or purse secure at all times when with you, or when going for a walk, think for a minute if your full purse or valuables are needed on this errand or walk.   For example, if you are going to wash laundry at the Laundromat, bring your quarters, your cell phone and your clothes, you don't need a fully loaded wallet or purse or wear your valuables.  If you're going to the store, only bring the cash you need, or use a debit card and don't bring cash with you.  These are just a couple quick examples to help you to think about what you are going to be doing and take the necessary precautions you feel may be necessary.  As always, we stand ready to help answer questions or make suggestions on specifics anytime.  We are just a phone call away.


In closing, I want to repeat, we are very fortunate to live in a very safe community.  When crimes like this happen, we wish we could have an officer on every corner to prevent them.  The fact is we can not.  Even if I put every single one of our officers on the street, in plainclothes or uniforms, we could not cover our entire city.  It is just not practical or possible.  This is why we encourage community involvement through programs like Neighborhood Watch and Volunteers in Policing.  These programs help to augment our police patrols and in fact are directly responsible for capturing suspects and preventing crime.  In recent weeks, these two groups have "caught", by being our eyes and ears on the street, several suspects responsible for thefts, muggings and just this weekend reported suspicious subjects that turned out to be responsible for multiple auto break-ins in our community.  These groups, along with the officers that responded, investigated and arrested these suspects are how we (the Department and the Community) are continuing to make Hermosa Beach one of the safest cities in Los Angeles County.


Respectfully,


Greg Savelli
Chief of Police