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Thefts on the rise

Downtown and south Glendale see 37 of the 52 incidents reported in the past week.

June 24, 2010|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

GLENDALE — The number of thefts has jumped in the last week, which police on Tuesday attributed to the economic downturn.

The latest crime trend showed thefts spiking to 52 in the last week, with some of the investigations having already resulted in arrests, Glendale Police Lt. Rodney Brooks said.

Of the total thefts, 37 occurred in south and downtown Glendale, including at the Americana at Brand, Sears and Glendale Galleria, he added. The crimes were primarily shoplifting incidents.

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The increasing number of thefts is simply a sign of times, police officials said, with many offenders resorting to stealing to make some money.

"We are still relating [the thefts] to the economy," Brooks said.

And while police have seen a rise in thefts, the number of burglaries has dropped in some neighborhoods as a result of several key arrests, he said.

"The burglaries are either holding or starting to trend to a slight decrease," Brooks said.

Commercial and residential burglaries throughout the city increased to 22 in May, according to a police report.

But in the last week, no burglaries have been reported in south Glendale, which typically sees its fair share of incidents. The June 14 arrest of three Pasadena men can likely be attributed to the drop in south Glendale, he said.

The men were allegedly peering at homes as they sat inside a parked Jeep Cherokee with paper license plates on the 1200 block of North Jackson Street, according to a police report.

Police searched the Jeep and found burglary tools, including pliers, gloves and screwdrivers, according to the report.

Brooks said the decreased number of burglaries in north Glendale in the last week was also likely the result of the May 31 arrests of three Tujunga residents, who were seen lurking by an already burglarized home on the 3800 block of Los Olivos Lane.

The recent drop in burglaries can also be attributed to increased patrolling, the Special Enforcement Detail's intensified efforts, parole and probation compliance checks and improvements in surveillance technology, Brooks said.

Police will use similar tactics to combat the boost in thefts, Brooks said.

Still, having the community participate in crime-fighting efforts is a vital tool, he said.

"Neighborhood alertness is critical," Brooks said.

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