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Outages spur home burglaries

Four residences fall victim in the aftermath of windstorm and widespread power failure.

December 07, 2011|By Joe Piasecki, joe.piasecki@latimes.com

The Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station is increasing patrols in La Cañada Flintridge in response to a spike in residential burglaries that has included at least four homes targeted during power outages.

Deputies are working overtime and volunteers on patrol are putting in extra hours to canvass neighborhoods around the clock, Capt. Dave Silversparre said Wednesday.

Silversparre has also sought help from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services to fund extra patrols throughout the month.

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“I’m also looking for the community’s assistance — to be our eyes and ears and help identify suspicious people,” Silversparre said. “Some of these burglaries occurred when people were gone for just an hour, maybe went to dinner. People need to be vigilant [looking out for] people who may be parked in an area to canvass homes.”

Jewelry worth more than $10,000 and an unspecified amount of cash were stolen between 6 and 7:15 p.m. Monday from a home on Hillcrest Avenue while victims were away at dinner.

Some burglaries have occurred during daylight hours, including a break-in Tuesday on Starlight Crest Drive.

On Monday, a couple who left their Saint Katherine Drive home at 9 a.m. returned in the afternoon to find it ransacked, reporting losses of $33,000 in cash as well as jewelry, watches, coins and electronics.

A home on Flintridge Avenue was burglarized Sunday night when residents left to spend the night at a hotel during the wind-related power outages, which disabled the home’s security system.

Power outages also disabled security alarms at a home on Terracita Lane, where overnight on Dec. 2 burglars made off with a painting valued at $10,000 and at least $5,000 in jewelry.

Thefts from cars have also increased in the past two weeks.

Despite the Dec. 2 arrest of three suspects connected to at least seven vehicle burglaries in La Cañada, two more occurred on Lasheart Drive the following day.

To help raise awareness among potential victims, patrolling deputies and volunteers will begin leaving notes at homes where occupants have left themselves susceptible to crime.

“We want to remind people that you need to protect your house by closing your garage door or making sure your [home-delivered] newspapers are picked up on a daily basis,” Silversparre said.

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