Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department detectives released video footage of a man and woman who bypassed a security door to a downtown loft building and then walked into three different, occupied lofts yesterday, March 31, 2010.
“This close call is a reminder for all residents to follow security protocols, like verifying someone’s right to access before granting them entry,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of detectives for the Central Police Station. “The most expensive, high-tech system can be ineffective simply by someone holding a door open for a stranger. That puts your whole building at risk.”
Such was the case yesterday at the Nabisco Lofts at 1850 Industrial Street. While workmen fixed pipes outside the building, a man in his forties and a woman in her thirties approached the security door. The couple skirted security measures and took advantage of a resident leaving to enter the building. In the next few minutes, the intruders walked into three separate lofts only to find someone present each time. With so many persons alert to their presence, they left without taking any property.
“This couple’s actions are consistent with daytime burglars,” Lt. Vernon said. “Burglars often strike at homes and apartments when they expect people to be at work. They generally want to avoid any personal contact.”
Police warn residents to lock their doors even when home and check the peep hole before opening the door. “Had these doors been locked, the burglars might have knocked to see if someone was home before trying to bypass the lock. If a resident calls through the door, the burglar will usually make an excuse and leave.”
Detectives want the public to look at the video and call with any information if someone recognizes the man, woman or their brown Chevy Avalanche, which was seen being driven away. The man was described as bald, nearly 6 feet tall, over 250 pounds and wearing glasses. The woman was 5 feet 6 inches tall, 180 pounds, with braided hair and wearing high-top shoes.
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Detective Mike Mazzacano, Central Burglary Unit, at 213-972-1231. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.
Video of the burglars and their car can be view at Central Police Station.