A spate of property crimes seems to be continuing this week, with two businesses on N. Larchmont broken into between Sunday and Tuesday.
The first of the two incidents took place at the Healing Hands Wellness Center, 414 N. Larchmont, sometime late Sunday night or early Monday morning. Suzy Lewis, general manager of Healing Hands, said she left the building and locked up at about 9:40 p.m., but when she came back around 9:00 Monday morning, she noticed the back door wasn’t bolted. And when she went inside, she saw the cash drawer open and another door to the outside, which is always locked, also open. A small amount of cash, and some small lost and found items, were missing from the cash drawer.
Lewis said she saw a vehicle she now describes as “suspicious” making several passes and parking attempts in front of the business before she left on Sunday night. It was a dark silver/gray or gunmetal-colored sedan (possibly an Altima or Infinity), and it either stopped or moved slowly by in front of the building at least four times, with the driver studying the building, shortly before closing time, according to Lewis. Lewis said she couldn’t see the driver well, but he appeared to be a Caucasian male. The burglary was reported to both SSA Security and the LAPD.
The second incident took place just across the street from Healing Hands, at Romi Cortier Design, 425 N. Larchmont, early in the morning of Tuesday, April 11. According to owner Romi Cortier, a pedestrian walked by the building at 6:30 that morning and noticed nothing unusual. But when she walked by again about 15 minutes later, she saw the door had been kicked open and notified the landlord next door, at Swanson Dentistry. Cortier said nothing inside was taken, as far as he’s been able to tell. “We think they might have been looking for a cash register, but we don’t have one,” he said.
Cortier also notified police and filed a police report, and had the front door repaired within 24 hours. He said the building also has a security camera, but it wasn’t working at the time of the break-in because of damage from the recent rains.
While these are the only business break-ins we’ve heard about in the last few weeks, the social media network NextDoor has been buzzing lately with accounts of thefts of items from cars, and teens seen moving from car to car along the streets in Larchmont Village and Windsor Square, looking for unlocked doors and items that can be easily grabbed.
It’s a good reminder to always lock your cars, homes and businesses, to make sure alarms and cameras are in good working order, and to set your alarms when you’re not home. An increase in break-ins, especially “crimes of opportunity” in which easy access is gained to unsecured spaces, tends to happen almost every year as days get longer and temperatures warm up during the spring and summer.