Updated: LAPD Urges Residents to Look Out for 'Distraction Burglaries'

According to officials, one distraction burglary occurred in Atwater Village over the weekend.

Officials from the Los Angeles Police Department's Northeast Division are urging residents to be on the lookout for "distraction burglaries."

According to an alert email sent out by LAPD Northeast, distraction burglaries occur when one suspect will disguise himself as a service provider and distract the homeowner, while another will loot the home.

Officers reported that such an incident took place on Saturday, Feb. 11, at about noon on the 3500 block of Ferncroft Road in Atwater Village.

From LAPD's email:

Suspect knocked on the front door and spoke to victim. Suspect wanted to enter the rear yard and complete electrical work. Victim did an amazing job of locking the front door behind him and met suspect in the backyard. Suspect distracted victim for about 5 minutes and then walked to the front of the house and met with suspect #2. Both suspects walked away and victim re-entered his home. Once inside victim saw his drawers and closets opened with property missing. Victim immediately notified the police.

To prevent distraction burglaries, LAPD officials advised residents to "not to allow anyone on your property that you did not invite. Report any unusual activity immediately to the police."


A Mount Washington resident sent us this e-mail in response to LAPD's alert.

Hello, I just read this piece and found it interesting becasue I was home yesterday afternoon and a heavy-set male walked up my walkway and said he was represeinting a contractor. He noticed some stucco that had fallen from the base of the front of our house and asked if it was the same all around to the back of the house. I told him that I was a renter and that he would have to contact the owner. He declined and walked away. I thought it suspicious because we rarely get solicitors "up in the hills" and frankly I'm not sure if these are the same guys but, just wanted to share.

Have you had any suspicious solicitors coming to your front door, lately?

Kat Baxter February 15, 2012 at 07:15 PM
I had the guys come over looking for alcontracting work stucco, windows, etc- i heard a knock but came out of back door and walked around outside. He gave me a flier and phone number and seemed legit. But i saw another guy checking out my house as well as my neighbor's. He said he was looking for the gas meter- not sure if he was legit, there was not a gas company vehicle anywhere around. I questioned him about what he was doing, then walked my dog up the street, and he left. I don't mean to be paranoid but it's vulnerable alone in a house up in the hills, the hills that border some sketchy sketchiness- but yeah i've had quite a few people coming up lately.
Cindy Marie Jenkins February 15, 2012 at 10:54 PM
A few months ago in Atwater Village someone with LAPD letterhead came to my house and wanted to inspect for faulty light bulbs and shower heads. Luckily the LAPD in our area had notified the neighborhood council so I did not even consider letting him inside. LAPD outreach director later confirmed they had no street teams out at that time.
nancy campeau February 16, 2012 at 06:54 PM
I also had a gas meter checker start to enter my backyard; I told him the meter wasn't there & showed him where the meter was. I think the utility companies should start a policy similar to this: either notify us by phone/email when their workers will be accessing our property, or provide their workers with a phone # we can call right then to let us verify they are scheduled to do real work on our property. Another thing I think we should start insisting on: the bag people that come every week to raid our trash also, I believe, serve as lookouts for these gangs; they come every week and get to know who's where at which part of the day. I think we should insist that these people be arrested for breaking the law-- there is a law against doing it-- & it does take income out of the city's pocket; right now the city needs all the revenue it can get!
J. Millspaugh April 03, 2012 at 02:25 AM
I also had a heavy set man claiming to represent a contractor offer to quote me on painting my house in the Glassell Park area up in the hills. I was surprised that he walked right into my garage while I was inside my car. He seemed very set on getting my name and phone number, so I am pretty sure he was legit and trying to get leads for business. I didn't see a second person with him.


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