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Burglars Strike Neighborhoods

By Olin Ericksen
Staff Writer

March 20 -- A string of recent burglaries in Santa Monica has police asking residents to make sure to secure their homes.

Ten burglaries had taken place in Sunset Park this year through March 9, as well as several burglaries in large residential homes north of Montana Avenue, which appear to have subsided recently, according to police.

"Most of what they are doing is getting access through the backyard," said Lt. Alex Padilla, the Police Department spokesman. "Open windows and open doors are like open invitations to criminals... who really are looking for an opportunity."

Items taken include jewelry and cash, police said

"They took mostly things that could fit into a backpack," Padilla said.

While the number of burglaries are not unusual in Santa Monica, the small clustering of burglaries on two days in Sunset Park raised a red-flag for police, who have not determined if it is the work of the same suspects.

Three burglaries occurred on February 20, while another three took place on March 2, Padilla said.

Two of the 10 burglaries in Sunset Park were the result of a "forced entry," rather than suspects entering a home or apartment through unlocked doors.

So far, police have little to work on in apprehending the suspects. The only descriptions provided were of two black males, 15 to 20-years-old.

Police are asking residents to be on the lookout for unusual activity, to call police if they see such activity and to form neighborhood watch groups to combat such crime.

Anyone with information should call Santa Monica Police or the anonymous "WeTip" line at 1.800.78.CRIME. For more information, call Lt. Alex Padilla at 310-458-8418.


"They took mostly things that could fit into a backpack." Alex Padilla




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