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Third-row seat thefts in Glendale on the rise

February 13, 2012|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Police say they’ve seen a slight surge this month in thefts of third-row seats from SUVs, prompting them to issue a citywide warning.

While the thefts of third-row seats from SUVs are not unusual in Glendale, the rate at which the crimes are occurring has raised concerns among police officials.

During the first week of February, police logged at least four third-row seat thefts from Chevy and GMC SUVs, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

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“We haven’t had a spate like that,” he said. “One a day — that’s a lot.”

The thefts occurred between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. mostly in parking structures on North Brand Boulevard and Orange Street, except for one in which the SUV was parked on the street on North Verdugo Road, Lorenz said.

Depending on year, model and material, third-row seats can sell for up to $1,000 on the black market, he added.

Thieves often sell the seats on Craigslist, which police comb through for stolen goods.

Burbank, with its concentration of “big-box” retailers and bustling parking lots, has long grappled with the problem.

Glendale police advised residents to engrave the vehicle’s identification number on the seat so it is easier to find.

Securing the seat with a bicycle lock could also prevent theft. Police recommended residents securely store the seat at home when it is not being used.

More than 55 vehicle break-ins have been reported in Glendale since Jan. 1, according to a Police Department database.

While third-row seat thefts have been on the rise, wallet thefts, specifically from purses, have also increased in downtown Glendale.

Police advised shoppers to avoid hanging purses from a chair or leaving them unattended in a shopping cart.

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