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Cerritos Crime Summary Dec 30-Jan 5

There were 13 Part I felony crime investigations conducted by members of the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station over the past week, which is a significant decline over the 2013 weekly average of about 23 per week.  Two cars were reported stolen and three were burglarized, three homes were burglarized, three commercial establishments were burglarized, and four grand thefts were reported.  The Sheriff’s dispatch center also quieted down somewhat, with 225 calls for service during this period.  The 2013 weekly average of calls for service was 293.

 

The reported robbery was actually a shoplifting incident at the Target store on South Street that escalated into a robbery when the loss prevention officers were assaulted by a male suspect who threatened them with a can of pepper spray.  The incident occurred on January 4 at about 3:30 p.m. and involved two females who were observed placing clothing items in a diaper bag.  They were detained as they attempted to leave the store without paying for the items and that’s when their male accomplice entered the fray and threatened the officers.  The suspects fled the location in a vehicle, but information from the loss prevention officers and witnesses should soon lead to the suspects’ arrests.

 

Three residential burglaries were reported during this period, with one resulting in the arrest of two gang members from Los Angeles.  On January 3 at about 11 a.m. the suspects knocked on the front door of a home on a quiet cul-de-sac near Artesia Boulevard and Bloomfield Avenue.  The resident did not answer the door and also did not respond in any way, likely giving the suspects the impression that no one was at home.  A few moments later the resident heard the suspects kicking her side garage door and then attempting to kick down the home’s entrance door from the garage.  She immediately dialed 9-1-1 and retreated with her two young children into a closet in the rear of the home.  As is usually the case when someone calls about a burglary in progress, Cerritos patrol deputies quickly arrived, observed the suspects leaving the location in a vehicle, and made quick work of arresting the burglars.  This case serves as a strong reminder for Cerritos residents to consider making some type of noise or alert when a stranger knocks on the door.  Burglars usually do not want confrontation and will leave if they know someone is at home.  Saying something such as “I’m busy at the moment,” or better yet, “I’m on the phone right now,” can alert potential burglars that the home is occupied.  Even slamming a door or turning up a radio or television may serve the intended purpose.

 

The other two residential burglaries occurred sometime during the afternoon hours of January 3 and 4.  In one incident the suspect(s) used some type of prying instrument to open a rear sliding door, and in the other a side window was shattered.  One burglary netted the suspect(s) $700 in cash and in the other the suspect(s) apparently took no property.

 

There were three incidents that fall under the “commercial burglary” category this past weekTwo actually involved the breaking in of a business, one a restaurant on South Street and the other was a finance company office on 183rd Street.  About $1,600 in cash was taken from the restaurant and about $27,000 in cash, checks and money orders was stolen from the finance office.  The third burglary involved a suspect walked into a bank on Artesia Boulevard and attempted to pass a forged check.  In the bank case the suspect was arrested.    

 

We began 2014 on a positive note in the BFMV (burglary from motor vehicle) category as there were none reported this past week.  In 2013 the weekly average was about six.

 

Four grand thefts were reported, one of which was a type of real estate scheme where the victim lost a considerable amount of money.  This incident involved a resident who was conned into investing in the purchase and remodeling of a home that the suspect didn’t own.  Over time the victim discovered the fraud, but by then he had given the suspect about $40,000 in cash in addition to the purchase of $35,000 in construction materials.  The suspect, of course, is now long gone, although detectives have some leads that may result in her apprehension in the future.

 

The other thefts involved a ring that somehow went missing from the victim’s home, various items stolen from an unlocked car at the Los Cerritos Center (if a vehicle is unlocked it is a theft and not a burglary from vehicle), and two necklaces and a gift card stolen from a store at the Center.

 

In the final crime category, there were two vehicle thefts last week, which is a considerable decline over the 4.3 weekly average in 2013.  An older model Toyota Camry was stolen from a residence on Mapes Avenue, and a 2002 Chevy Tahoe was taken from the Town Center.