String of Burglaries Occur Wednesday

Altadena residents shared details about several residential burglaries that occurred in the area Wednesday. Have you seen anything suspicious?

Residential burglaries and suspicious character sightings have continued in Altadena but the pace picked up Wednesday.

Altadena Captain John Benedict reported at Wednesday’s Altadena Sheriff Community Advisory Committee meeting that five residential burglaries took place that day, a Patch reader shared in the President Streets Yahoo online neighborhood group.

Benedict has additional patrol cars and deputies serving Altadena for the time being, but residents are still urged to call the Sheriff’s Station at 626-798-1131 if they see anything suspicious or unusual.

Patch is trying to make contact with Benedict to confirm these details and obtain any other relevant information.

The following Wednesday burglary incident was also shared by a resident via the President Streets Yahoo neighborhood group:

At 6:00 PM tonight (Wed) our house alarm went off. We rushed home to find a window in our hallway had been forced open wide enough for someone to enter. We believe the alarm and the fact that our neighbors were home caused them to run without taking the time to grab anything first. It was already dark but our neighbor saw what looked to be the tail lights of a sedan pull away from the curb and head North on Craig.

Access to the window they opened was in the back of the house. The yard is completely [sic] enclosed by a 5 foot wrought iron fence they had to climb over to get to the window and to leave -- our gates were padlocked.

The officers that came to the house said there has been an increase in home burgleries [sic] in all of Altadena the past few weeks.

Just letting you know so you can be on the alert. Also, if any of our nearby neighbors noticed an unfamiliar vehicle parked or cruising the street today please let me know.

Thank you
[Name withheld]
Craig Avenue (Patch has removed the full address)

Another Altadena resident shared burglary details with fellow neighbors vie email and the account was passed on to Patch:

My neighbor (we live on Wapello between Marengo and Santa Anita) called us last night to report that his home was broken into yesterday, sometime before 8 p.m.  They entered by breaking the glass in his back door.  I was home from 3 pm and was working

in my garage and doing some gardening in my back yard on and off from 3-5 pm .... did not notice anything suspicious, however, did hear

footsteps on the gravel between our homes, around 4:30....just assumed it was my neighbor, or a workman. 

Realize I need to be more vigilant...the thieves are out there...lock your doors...and keep an eye out on your neighboor's. [sic]

[Name withheld]

Lucy January 17, 2013 at 10:05 PM
I'm REALLY upset and sickened by the number of break ins. I feel like we are a "bunch of sitting ducks," just waiting to be picked off. We have a gated, 6 ft fenced yard, an alarm, alarm signs, and the HUGEST black dog known to man - and we STILL got burglarized, with a teenager sleeping in bed at the time, even! They took very special heirloom items, ones that cannot be replaced. There must be more we and the police can do. But knowing anything, I'm thinking of hanging a sign our gate: "Burglars, you already hit this house and there is nothing left to steal. Go away!"
Marisa N. January 17, 2013 at 10:33 PM
How can we subscribe to this listserv?
doris finch January 17, 2013 at 10:44 PM
Another incident was on Crescent Dr. near Eaton Canyon. A not-new car was broken into and two Christmas sweaters on their way to be exchanged, a bible, and glasses were taken. The car owner, who works hard for a living, can hardly even afford to have the window fixed. She was distraught. What a sorry situation!
Lucy January 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM
Marrisa, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Patch blog." Hopefully that the info you need.
Brandon January 17, 2013 at 11:31 PM
I saw a white newer Civic or Corolla driving around our area with its lights off slowly cruising around, about 7pm. It seemed funny since the daytime running lights were on, and it was dark enough to need lights to drive around. We are installing IR security cameras with motion sensors, that will send the feed to a few different places for archiving and to our smartphones. I guess I should put a note saying smile you are on the internet. Not sure what else can really be done except keeping an eye out. Maybe I should add a few wifi hotspots with SSID's like, This area is being monitored.
Lucy January 17, 2013 at 11:38 PM
Great idea on the hotspots and SSID's. ... And can you please share where you are getting the IR security cameras? I'm just beginning research on that. Thanks.
Whole Bean January 18, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Brandon, did you call the Altadena Sheriff Station and let them know about the suspicious vehicle? Also great idea on the security cameras! All of us need to come together and watch out for each other. The Deputies can't be on every street in Altadena. We need to make sure that we are forming neighborhood watch groups and communicating with each other and to the Sheriff Station. If you see something suspicious report it! Get good information, vehicle description, make, model, color, and license # if you can. If its a suspicious person(s) get their gender, race, approximate age and a clothing description. Where is the vehicle or person and which way were they going? We should not tolerate being victims!
robert January 18, 2013 at 01:08 AM
I'm sorry to hear of your loss. It is really traumatic for your home to be trespassed and victimized by those who have no respect. I suggest hiring a few fine gentlemen who would be very happy to assist in your home protection system. They are Colonel Colt, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson, and Mr. Winchester. A 12 gauge shotgun is best for security protection, but a .45 or .357 magnum requires more precision but attains a fine result. There are shooting ranges which allow you to rent particular firearms so you can choose which is best for you. The permit process requires training in the use and care of the firearm. I'm sure our local law enforcement agency will be happy to inform you of all applicable laws and procedures. Good luck to you and your family.
SteveB January 18, 2013 at 01:14 AM
In this instance, Colonel Colt, Mr. Smith, Mr. Wesson, and Mr. Winchester would most likely have been kidnapped ....
not Carl Peterson lll January 18, 2013 at 01:21 AM
Lucy, I am not Mr. dog detective, but from your 2:05 post, I would guess it was someone who knows you, or your schedule As for cars around the Eaton Canyon gate. Every once in a while someone makes their rounds, breaking into cars of hikers. They will watch you go up the trail...and then.... Better to park on a different block with high visibility. When someone asks you how far you are going, "Just getting a minute of fresh air" might be a good answer. I have seen it at this location, and stopped it.
Brandon January 18, 2013 at 02:22 AM
I didn't think much of it, until I read this article. I will be keeping my eyes open. The problem on our street is that there are way too many cars parked for just one house and its hard to tell who actually belongs here or not. I am going to try out the Foscam cameras and see how they work. You can turn the camera in all directions remotely from your phone, and I think also talk through them. I figured if we installed outside cameras it would look like we have something to take, so we didn't go that route.
Melody Comfort January 18, 2013 at 03:48 AM
Tell her about All Star Glass in Pasadena. They will come to your location at no extra charge and repair car windows. They charge less than other companies, too.
Lucy January 18, 2013 at 03:48 AM
Yes, prob someone who worked on our remodel or someone who cased the house and knew our habits. I've had neighbors who were broken into when they were gone for only 18 minutes. THEY ARE WATCHING US!
Melody Comfort January 18, 2013 at 03:52 AM
Good for you, Buzz! An activist for your fellow human being.
Lucy January 18, 2013 at 03:54 AM
If you guys think that guns and cameras are going to work, think again. We are hunters and have guns. But we weren't home! They come when people leave the property. Cameras (and later fingerprints) are good to identify someone with a record. But what I hear is that most of the burglars are young adults, raising money for either a drug habit or a gang. They have no record and "nothing to lose." So what's one to do? Again, post a sign on my property that says "Nothing left to steal?"
doris finch January 18, 2013 at 05:10 AM
"Near Eaton Canyon" didn't exactly explain. The lady wasn't a hiker, her car wasn't on Pinecrest. It was in a wide open area nearby. She works in the neighborhood and her ill afforded losses were covered by the kind and generous person for whom she works, but she still feels vulnerable and violated. I wish I could have heard or seen something and been able to report it. Eyes wide open, everyone!
Brandon January 18, 2013 at 07:10 AM
Good question. I don't see guns being an answer. At least with a camera saving to somewhere like the cloud, you will have something. They make automatic light switches that you can program to turn on and off at a certain time for each day and go into random mode when gone for longer than normal. I can log on to my TV from the internet and have it turn on. I guess think of what the kid in Home Alone would do? I have read of people hooking up shocking mechanisms to doors when they aren't home. It was funny reading a thread about what the best voltage is to safely zap someone so they would leave. I doubt that's legal though.
Lovely Altadena January 18, 2013 at 04:37 PM
Cameras. Clear, well placed cameras. Fry's & Costco. Guns get stolen, then used in crimes - not a good idea. Also, know your neighbors and their habits and look out the window every now and then. It's human nature to ' not see' things out of place so be especially vigilant. Lucy, your experience is frightening. Sadly, the sign I'm considering is a For Sale sign. There are too many burglaries, gang members, shootings in Altadena with a poor school district. I can't think of another area with a 'Millionaires Row', Equestrian Center, Country Club with these home prices....and these problems. The gang members need to be eradicated.
Ninja Girl January 18, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Lucy, I agree. My neighbor installed surveillance cams which pick up all sides of his house and mine - if any trouble occurs, while it doesn't take away the feeling of violation, having a face to match w/ the crime will be helpful
Lucy January 18, 2013 at 07:53 PM
I agree, L.A. I love Altadena, and don't want to leave. But the gang influence is getting a bit out of control. I'd like to know what we can do about it. I'm ready to FIGHT!
Ninja Girl January 18, 2013 at 08:02 PM
I'd love to move, too...but...just not happening right now. :(
Pat January 18, 2013 at 09:22 PM
I am moving out - tired of the traffic and lack of enforcement, the break-ins, the lack of responsiveness by both the CHP and the Sheriff's Department. Tired of seeing a sheriff's department vehicle at movie locations but not in our neighborhoods. And very tired of the LA County Supervisors.
Revvell January 18, 2013 at 09:38 PM
Lucy ~ there's a Coffee with the Captain on Tues, 1/22, 6-8 p.m. at Perry's Joint I think it is. How about going there and finding out what the department is doing and what citizens can do?
Lucy January 18, 2013 at 10:27 PM
Well, I had a weird incident today. Again. And this time I was very impressed with the time from which I called 911, and when they got here. 2-3 minutes. I could hear them talking about my address, in the background. The 911 dispatch person would not let me off the phone until I made contact with the sheriffs that arrived at my property. 5 sheriffs arrived at my house, drew their guns, and were very fast to react and take control. One car even came down a back driveway of the neighbors. I was impressed that they knew where it was and did that. So I can understand your frustration, Pat; but at the same time I can understand the Sheriff's frustration. They are up against bad odds. "Bad guys" are working hard these days. .... But at least they got here WAY faster than I thought they would. Again, I thank them for the tough job they do. And when they all drew their guns and walk around the property - It became very scary and real. We are at "war" with the gangs. That is our real issue.
Julie M. January 19, 2013 at 01:47 AM
Ha - Brandon - do you live near Ventura/Casitas? There is a house there with no less than 5 cars jammed in it's driveway nearly everyday. There lovely lawn furniture and shirtless sunbathing in the summer is an added bonus. I agree with you, Whole Bean! Let's be more proactive and responsible for the welfare of our neighborhood. I know this starts with me. The shootings, thefts, etc. are out of control.
Brandon January 19, 2013 at 02:58 AM
Julie M. I actually live right down the street but on the other side of Lincoln. I know the big trucks annoy everyone. I seemed to be the only person that actually asked the neighbors to not park it in front of our house though. Everyone else just leaves notes on it. Other than that I really like the street and neighbors. I got the old windows sealed up enough so the weekend party music is toned down a lot. I also would assume with all of the activity on the street it might be harder to break into certain houses, so I don't see it being a negative. I am now addicted to watching nothing happen on these cameras as they stream to my phone and monitor. I really want to mount one of these outside. I forgot to mention the house with all of the cars doesn't use their driveway. And everyone uses their cars to block their cars from parking in front of their house when they can. I would rather use our driveway/garage and keep our cars off the street.
not Carl Peterson lll January 19, 2013 at 03:56 AM
For the record....From my view. Overall crime, murders, and such have been on a general decline for about twenty years. Anyone remember shootings during the early ninties? From the late sixties until the early ninties crime was much higher. How about L.A. with 10-20 murders every weekend in the late eighties. I lived here at a time (long time ago) that when the school bell rang, we all scattered like bugs, and walked home without fear. The car line was not invented yet. But in the late sixties....Charles manson, Sirhan Sirhan(just a few blocks) away, drugs, the barelli (sp.)? twins in Altadena kidnapped and murdered, and long time residents moving, was five years that changed everything. But just like the rest of the country most crime has been declining since the mid nineties. So, things are generally improving. Does anyone have the stats.?
Ivan G January 19, 2013 at 05:53 AM
I recommend installing an audible alarm system. You can do it yourself for under $200. It won't keep someone from breaking in, but likely will scare them away if they do enter. I installed a system 20 years ago. Someone pried a casement window open and forced the screen off. But there were no signs that anyone went into the house or took anything.
Former Altadenan January 19, 2013 at 09:08 AM
After 40 years and 4 break-ins, we got the For Sale signs and left. Broke our hearts since we lived our entire married life and raised our children in Altadena. We simply gave up trying to secure our home, but to no avail. Something more needs to change in this community, but for us we had to simply stop trying,


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