Neighborhood Watch recap

If you were not able to make it out to the South Shores Neighborhood Watch meeting this week, Officer Eve Wight has written a recap (below) of what was discussed.

Officer Wight gave us two telephone numbers you can call for non-emergency situations: LAPD Harbor Area Front Desk 310-726-7700 (press “1” as soon as the recording starts) or 1-800-ASK-LAPD. In case of an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

Hello Everyone!

Well we had quite a successful first meeting tonight.  I am thrilled by the turnout and was really happy to see everyone there.  Everyone getting this email should feel really proud of yourself and your neighbors.  You are wonderful group of people, who clearly really care about your neighborhood, your properties and your neighbors.  As a neighborhood you are your own best first line of defense; and what a first line of defense you folks are!  I was impressed with your enthusiasm, focus, interest and support.  I’m so glad that I get the chance to work with you all, and here’s to more great meetings in the future!

First things first!  I want to say a huge thanks to Dr Suzuki from South Shores Elementary, for so generously again, allowing us the use of the auditorium.  It is such a pleasure and makes everything so much easier to have such a large central place to hold meetings.  So again, thanks to you sir!

Also a big thanks to Mingli and the other members of the community and Homeowners Association Board for taking the time to get the word out to all your neighbors about the meeting.  I wish that I had the time to knock on everyone’s door and invite the whole neighborhood, but unfortunately I just don’t and I have to rely on you folks to do that.  So thanks again to you all for taking the time.

So I will try and keep this update email as short and painless as possible…so here we go.

Firstly, I talked about the solicitors and as we’ve been discussing over email for the past few months you are not required to open your door to them or to interact with them in anyway.  If you do choose to speak with them, NEVER let them in your home.  They will often use a ruse such as needing to use the restroom or your phone in order to attempt to steal your money, credit cards or even prescription medications.  The point was made that if you address them through the door you will serve the purpose of letting them know you are at home.  And on the off chance that they are “casing” the neighborhood they will then know that you’re home and that you’re watching.  Also the Los Angeles Municipal Code states that anyone over the age of 16 engaged in door to door solicitation, SHALL, upon request by the person being solicited or by law enforcement produce a photo identification card and the original or a copy of the city issued permit.  The ID card must be issued by a governmental agency or an educational institution and include the person’s date of birth.  If they cannot, or will not provide either or one of these things upon your request then they are in violation of the LAMC section 41.31.1(c), 41.31.1(d).  In addition “aggressive solicitation” is prohibited and is a violation of section 41.59(b)(1).  I am going to pass these sections along to the patrol officers so they will be aware of the cite-able violations.  However, if someone comes to your door and you ask for their ID and they don’t provide it and you make them aware that you know exactly what section they are in violation of and that you are calling the police, I would be willing to bet that they will hightail it off your property, and hopefully out of the neighborhood!  (I apologize for the run-on sentence, it’s been a long day!)

I also talked about taking steps to prevent yourself from becoming a victim.  ALWAYS close your windows and lock your doors, on both your vehicles and your homes.  Don’t leave items of value in plain view.  If you have an expensive tv in full view from your front windows, close your curtains too.  If the thieves don’t know that there is something good to steal inside, they will be less inclined to break in to your home and go and look for some place that is a surer bet.  Don’t leave anything of value in your vehicle open to view.  This includes but is not limited to phones, iPods, GPS devices, cameras, purses, laptops; cars are even being broken into for gym bags.  Place small items under your seat or in the glove compartment and place larger ones in trunk, or take them in the house.  Thieves will often go after anything they can see.

As far as crime trends in San Pedro for the most part we continue to struggle with property crime, specifically Burglary and Thefts from Motor Vehicles and Residential Burglaries.  Overall our property crime numbers are going down and that is great.  We have been seeing an increase in the number of thefts occurring in the parking lot of our local parks including White Point, Friendship/Bogdanovich Park, Peck Park, the Softball fields on north Gaffey and the Field of Dreams.  There is possibly a correlation between this and the fact that the city has begun to rent the spaces out to organizations from outside the city.  We don’t have enough info yet to say there is definitely a connection, but it is certainly something we are paying attention to.  In response to this however we are going to deploy a “bait car” in and around those areas this Deployment Period.  Based on our potential success with that we may make a semi-regular technique.  In addition I am looking into getting signs posted in our local parks which will state that the “bait car” is in use by the department.  The auto detectives have had a lot of success with this in the past, and I am willing to try anything.  Unfortunately the city won’t pay for these signs, so I am looking into some possible options for funding.

We are also having a problem with people “canning” or digging through trashcans looking for recycling.  Officer Ashcraft who handles the North West San Pedro Area is having a similar problem.  We believe that it is most likely the same five or six people.  So we are reaching out to our community members to give us days, times and exact locations as well as a description of the individuals involved and any vehicles involved in the canning.  We are trying to get a better idea of when and where they hit, and once we have a pretty good schedule in place we will come in really early one morning and try and stop a bunch of them and issue citations or make arrests where appropriate.  So if you have a problem with canners on your street please email the information and we will do our best to track them down.

As far as the [skateboarding] “Bombers” we are just waiting on the final wording for Councilman Buscaino’s motion to be completed and approved by the City Attorney’s office.  Once that’s done and put into the LAMC we will have something substantial to cite them for.  In addition they are trying to get it added that we will be able to impound the skateboards of violators that we cite.  They subsequently won’t be able to get them back unless their parent or legal guardian responds to the station to help them pick it up.  We are hoping that this will raise awareness among the parents regarding the dangers and nuisance of this issue.

For the most part it seems like everyone might be leaning towards a full South Shores Neighborhood Watch Meeting once every three months, and in the interim, each block can arrange their own smaller satellite meetings.  I am happy to attend any smaller meeting, even if it’s just one person!  I just need a couple weeks notice so that I can try and plan my schedule around that.  So if you and your immediate neighbors are interested in starting your own satellite NW please let me know and we can start work on that.  So for now, I will coordinate with Mingli Wang for scheduling our next full S.S.N.W. Meeting in late July or most likely August.

Some issues and questions that came out of the meeting that I am looking into are:

There is a question as to whether or not some possible Sex Offenders have moved in to the trailer park on Catalina Vista.  I have already sent an email to our R.E.A.C.T. (Registrant Enforcement and Compliance Team) to see if they have any information on that.  I am also awaiting to see if any further information comes from the community members, ie: names or addresses of the possible individuals.

I sent an email to John Larson in Councilman Buscaino’s Office to see what information he has on the city’s plan for coping with traffic upon the arrival of the [U.S.S.] Iowa to San Pedro.  John says: “We have a motion in council instructing the Harbor Department to report with specific marketing and mitigation measures to accommodate an increase visitorship of USS IOWA. That would include traffic mitigation.”  John, obviously is very responsive, so as soon has he knows more he will let me know, and as soon as I know more, I will let you know.

I have an email into Sgt Plows to see what we need to do to purchase some permanent metal neighborhood watch signs for the South Shores neighborhood.

So hopefully I covered everything, thanks again to everyone who made it and to everyone who wanted to make it but wasn’t able to.  I also want to say thanks you all for making me feel so welcome here in the South Shores.  I am still trying to get the ins and outs of this job down.  I take pride in a job well done and it’s so uplifting to be so warmly received by such clearly wonderful people.  So thanks for accepting me as a part of your community, and for allowing me the opportunity to be your Senior Lead Officer.  I look forward to our future collaborations!  As always you can email me with any questions or concerns, or call me on my city cell (310) 869-2168 [non-emergency only].

I hope that everyone is happy and healthy and has an excellent end to their week and an even better weekend!

-Officer Eve Wight

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