Amid a recent rise in possible follow-home robberies in Los Angeles County and nearby areas, the Torrance Police Department on Saturday released some common aspects of reported robberies in the city.
The robberies all took place in recent weeks, police said, and each incident shared some or all factors in common with the other incidents.
Many of the robberies targeted townhomes in gated communities in central and eastern Torrance, especially when large amounts of cash are kept in the homes, police said.
In addition, the homeowners are often of Asian descent and own businesses outside the city, which police suggested could mean that they are “possibly being followed” home.
The robbers are believed to be a group of three to four people “posing as gardeners or landscapers,” police said, and they are driving late-model American-made minivans and SUVs.
While these commonalities may been seen in past robberies, police noted that “trends are known to change / evolve and as such, this should not be considered comprehensive.”
Police encouraged residents to remain aware of their surroundings and “note individuals you haven’t seen previously and what they appear to be doing and wearing to give the appearance they belong.”
In particular, attention should be paid to gardeners, food delivery workers, couriers and people using ladders, clipboards or knocking on doors “asking for someone by name who does not live there,” police added.
“Be aware of vehicles that pull in right after residents have entered the security gates,” police added.
Residents of the Belmar neighborhood, where burglars are believed to have struck, said they plan to follow the police’s advice.
Susan Pengelly called the break-ins “very concerning.”
“These are our neighbors. It’s making me think more about security, putting security in our townhome,” Pengelly said.
If someone believes a crime is imminent or has recently taken place, they should call 911 instead of intervening.
Anyone with questions can call the Torrance Police Department at 310-328-3456.