Holiday shoppers – and criminals – hit the malls

Dec 19, 2012

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When it comes to this year’s crime stats,  Capt. Bill Murphy said earlier this week that he expects an increase in the Northeast Division, primarily as a result of a rise in thefts in Eagle Rock, with the Eagle Rock Plaza a traditional hot spot, according to Patch. How hot?  Since  the start of the holiday shopping season after Thanksgiving, 10 petty thefts and cases of shoplifting have been reported at or near the Colorado Boulevard mall,according to In addition, there has been one robbery and a four car break-in and thefts during the same period.  “We are committed to providing a safe, enjoyable shopping environment for our customers,” said Eagle Rock Plaza General Manager Bryan Paul, who declined to provide specifics.

The Eagle Rock Plaza, however,  is far from the only shopping center where criminals are busy during these days.

In Atwater Village, nine petty thefts and cases of shoplifting  and car break ins  have been reported at the Costco shopping center on Los Feliz Bouelvard since Nov. 1, according to

It’s partly a seasonal problem that has LAPD paying closer attention to  shopping centers and other shopping strips,  said Officer Perry Scheerer of  the Northeast Division’s Crime Analysis Unit. The department deploys bicycle units and officers on foot to heighten police presence at the shopping centers during the holiday season, Scheerer said.

But the LAPD and mall cops can only do so much. Despite frequent warnings, Scheerer said shoppers continue to leave valuable belongings in their vehicles in plain sight, making them easy marks for criminals.

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