The Los Angeles Police Department warned residents Thursday in affluent areas of a recent string of "knock, knock" burglaries. The following message was posted on the LAPD North Hollywood Division's Facebook page:
"With the rise in residential burglaries throughout the valley, LAPD established a task force to help eliminate the problem. There have been gangs of burglars targeting high-end homes. They usually knock on the front door during the day to s...ee if someone is home; if no one answers they will then break into the home through a side or rear window or door. Since the task force was formed a month ago, multiple suspected burglars have been arrested. We encourage everyone to get to know their neighbors and call authorities if they see someone suspicious in their neighborhood."
A total of 18 suspected burglars that are mostly from from inner-city gangs have been arrested so far, said Lt. Alan Hamilton of the LAPD's North Hollywood Division at a press conference Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
The burglars have hit homes in the more affluent areas of the Valley, including in the west San Fernando Valley and the communities of Encino, Sherman Oaks and Studio City, according to the report.
The LAPD also believes the increase in burglaries is tied to thousands of state prison inmates receiving early release, and posted this message on its Facebook page in March:
We can’t help but wonder if the early release of inmates has something to do with the rash of burglaries throughout the San Fernando Valley and in North Hollywood. We want to remind everyone to be cautious when a stranger knocks on your door and don’t leave valuables in your vehicle for someone to take. Let’s work together to put a stop on crime. Remember “Lock it, Hide it, Keep it”