Residents of Silver Lake and Echo Park say they are frustrated by what they’re calling a lack of progress by the Los Angeles Police Department on a serial thief who has plagued them for months.
The neighbors say they’ve collected evidence, including surveillance footage and photos, showing the man’s face and even the cars he has driven, yet the LAPD has yet to make an arrest.
Samantha, who wishes only to be identified with her first name, said the man stole her car recently, and when she shared her information with neighbors, they discovered some similarities, including that he usually strikes between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Fridays.
“That’s kind of what seems to be the pattern, stealing cars, breaking into cars, stealing people’s personal property. I had him on camera using a key-fob replicator to unlock my door, and then he just gets in and takes the car,” Samantha said.
The neighbors have created a TikTok video they hope will go viral, bringing more attention to the thefts.
Many victims are frustrated, believing the LAPD is not doing all it can.
Detective Michael Ventura of the Northeast Division said cops are on the case, but he added that this situation is not a simple one.
“We’re going to do our best that we can in terms of extra patrols, working with our community partners in terms of community watches, trying to harden the targets by people having security camera, having security gates, those kinds of things. When we do have things like this, we exhaust every one of our investigative leads,” Ventura said.
“Because of COVID, because of the pandemic and because of the things that are going on in the jails, there are certain concerns as to, can these guys stay in jail? At the end of the day, it’s not a murder and it’s not a rape. It is a property crime, so we’ll make a determination about the appropriate filing, and how much time they do, that’s really out of the LAPD’s hands,” he added.