From SLO/LAPD’s Ron Carter:
Last night (Monday) our Officers responded to two (2) underground parking lot robberies, where the suspect was armed and property was taken by force from the victims. The location of these incidents was in the 15200 block of Valleyheart Drive in Sherman Oaks, in the 15000 block of Victory Boulevard and a third in North Hollywood, but the method used was similar for all of them.
The suspect was described as a Male Black, Gray sweatshirt with hoodie and a dark bandana. He approached the victim and pointed a handgun. The suspect demanded money and jewlery. The suspect took cash and then went through the victim’s purse, fleeing on foot.
Please remember that if you are entering your parking structure, it is important to first scan the exterior as well as the interior, before you enter or exit from your residence. Check your side-view and rear-view mirrors as you enter, making sure that there is no one standing nearby waiting to follow you into the parking area. It is common for these criminals to wait for a car to enter, let them pull forward into their parking spot and then sneak into the garage while the gate is still open or closing. As a good neighbor, it would be recommended that you practice this technique and let it become a habit which will keep you safer and also help to keep your neighbors safer as well.
The issue is that we all seem to be in a hurry these days, myself included, and this prevents us from taking simple precautions that are necessary anywhere at home, in the State and across the Country and abroad. Criminals are the same everywhere and are becoming increasingly keener in their use of technology, disguises and distractions.
What do I do if I see a prowler loitering nearby to my parking garage, you may ask? Well, first of all, stay focused on your surroundings and if you are feeling uneasy, do not enter the parking lot. Go around the block and return to see if this person is still there. Depending on his actions, this may be a “911” call for a “prowler suspect there now“, or for any other criminal actions that you observe. Stay calm, but try to give a good description of this suspect, including gender, descent, height & weight, clothing and any unusual features. If this person is seen running away or leaving the location, please try to give the Operator a direction of travel so Officers can try to locate this individual and determine his/her business in the area.
Please remember that your Police Department does not want you to become confrontational, but to obtain this information from a safe place. You are extremely valuable to us and we wouldn’t want anything to happen to anyone.
Thank you for all your hard work to make our communities safer and for taking the time to read this and distribute it to other family, friends and neighbors. ”
S.L.O. Ron Carter