With Chanukah underway and Christmas only a few days away, the gift giving season is upon Highland Park and Mount Washington.
Security camera footage caught by a Mount Washington resident shows that local Grinches are already preparing to cash in.
The above video--recording during the daylight hours--shows a gray Pontiac Solstice slowly driving along Glenalbyn Drive and then past Dove Drive toward the . The vehicle then returns to Glenalbyn.
At one point in the video--which condenses more than 45-minutes of footage captured by the homeowner--one of the men can be seen walking toward the security camera and then unplugging it.
"They pulled over right by our Neighborhood Watch sign. In front of our house we have visible cameras, large signs indicating we have cameras and a Post Security sign. We also have barking dogs, security doors/windows and lights," said Eric Ragno, the homeowner who captured the video. "Cars and dog walkers passed by, and our neighbors were all home at the time. Only the sight of the cameras even slowed the culprit down, until he finally moved on to the next house."
Ragno called on his neighbors to be vigilant during the Holiday season.
"Please be alert. There's a good chance these criminals will return before the holiday this weekend," Ragno said.
In an official statement, the Los Angeles Police Department warned that "the holiday season is always a special time of year. It is also a time when busy people become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime."
LAPD offered the following tips to help prevent burglaries during the holidays.
- Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
- When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
- Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer.
- Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
- Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.
Strangers at Your Door
- Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.
- It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes, although no charity is involved.
- Ask for their identification, and find out how the donated funds will be used. If you are not satisfied, do not donate.
- Donate to a recognized charitable organization.