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At least 15 vehicles stolen in Glendale over the past two weeks

September 09, 2011|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

At least 15 vehicles and motorcycles have been stolen off Glendale streets in the past two weeks, although police say the figure doesn’t necessarily represent a trend.

Police officials say they haven’t established any leads, or made any arrests in connection with the thefts, which have been occurring at rate of about one a day since Aug. 29. Few details about the thefts and the types of vehicles were released because the cases were under investigation.

“As for the methods, number of suspects…it really varies,” Glendale Police Sgt. Dave Higgins said in an email.

Most recently, three vehicles and motorcycles were stolen on Tuesday from the 400 block of West Harvard Street, 700 block of West Wilson Avenue and 400 block of Lincoln Avenue.

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The thefts occurred between 3 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., according to police reports.

Last Friday, a van was reported stolen from the 1600 block of South Central Avenue.

A witness noticed a Volkswagen Jetta drop off the burglar next to a silver Ford Econoline van. The suspect, who was wearing a grey coat and black baseball cap, suddenly appeared to be inside the van and was using a metal bar to twist its ignition on.

The witness immediately called police, who spotted the van and activated their lights and sirens to get it to stop near the Golden State (5) Freeway, according to an incident report.

The van exited at Mission Avenue and began to yield, when the driver suddenly exited the van and starting running, police said.

A foot chase ended up in a business area on the 1000 block of Mission Avenue in Los Angeles, but officers were unable to catch the driver.

Despite the recent spate of auto thefts, they have decreased overall to 181 for the first seven months this year from 196 for the same period last year, according to Police Department statistics.

Glendale’s declining trend in vehicle thefts coincides with national figures, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s Hot Wheels report released in August.

Improved technology has contributed to a drop in stolen vehicles. Still, as security advances in newer cars, thieves are finding older vehicles are easier to steal, according to the report.

Thieves have also focused on stealing domestic cars, including Fords, Dodges and Chevrolets.

Still, the 1994 Honda Accord was most stolen vehicle in the nation in 2010, followed by the 1995 Honda Civic.

A simple press on the lock button is the most effective and least expensive way to protect a car from being stolen, Frank Scafidi, a spokesman for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, said.

“Make sure you lock it before you leave it,” he said.

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