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LAPD tells rich residents that wearing flashy jewelry makes them ‘targets’

The LAPD is telling rich residents to leave their flashy jewelry at home to avoid making themselves ‘targets’ to criminals amid a wave in violent crime.  

In the last year, violent robberies and smash-and-grab thefts have sky-rocketed in Los Angeles

In some startling examples in Beverly Hills, people have had their watches and and jewelry snatched from their bodies by brazen thieves who approached them as they dined in restaurants and sidewalk cafes. 

Now, the LAPD is telling residents not to wear their pricey jewelry. 

‘Over the last year there has been a marked increase of armed robberies involving victims wearing expensive jewelry while in public. If it is visible, it can be a target,’ the LAPD statement said this week. 

The warning was met with incredulity from some, who asked why the police force isn’t doing more to round up thieves. 

‘So we’re supposed to give up everything, because they allow these criminals to walk the streets, instead of putting them in prison, where they belong?’ one critic said. 

The LAPD issued this advice this week to residents warning them that wearing expensive jewelry makes them a target for criminals 

There has been an uptick in violent robberies and brazen muggings all over L.A. in the last year. Some recent incidents are shown above

There has been an uptick in violent robberies and brazen muggings all over L.A. in the last year. Some recent incidents are shown above 

Shoppers on Rodeo Drive last year. The spate of attacks have happened all over L.A. but particularly in wealthy areas like Beverly Hills

Shoppers on Rodeo Drive last year. The spate of attacks have happened all over L.A. but particularly in wealthy areas like Beverly Hills 

‘What’s wrong with this picture?’ another said. 

L.A.’s woke D.A. George Gascón has been slammed for earlier telling residents how to lock their cars to avoid having them stolen. 

In 2021, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported a total of 39,894 stolen vehicles compared to 34,003 in 2020- a staggering 17 percent surge

But critics say the crime spike is down to no-cash-bail policies that Gascon and other district attorneys around the country are implementing. 

The policies send criminals back into the streets and are overwhelming local law enforcement. 

Last week, a group of youngsters filmed a dangerous stunt at Baxter Street in which a Tesla driver soared at high speed through the air and crashed, landing on the nose of the car. 

Gascon's PSA offered four tips- including always locking car doors, not leaving a spare key in vehicles, parking in well-lit areas and investing in anti-theft devices

Gascon’s PSA offered four tips- including always locking car doors, not leaving a spare key in vehicles, parking in well-lit areas and investing in anti-theft devices

A group of five is seen on video with what police say appeared to be sledgehammers, obliterating the front window of the store

A group of five is seen on video with what police say appeared to be sledgehammers, obliterating the front window of the store 

Residents there say he could have killed someone. But the LAPD said it was not a ‘priority’ to find the driver because they would have been released back onto the street within hours anyway. 

Earlier this week, thieves targeted Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills, smashing the windows to steal millions of dollars in merchandise in a 30-second hit. 

In the city of LA, robberies are up 18% year-to-date compared to 2021. Robberies with a firearm are up 44% in the same time period across the city. 

Wes Bunker, 30, from Dallas, waited for friends Wednesday in Hollywood’s Melrose shopping district amid boutiques and vintage stores. He’d been in the city for two days but hadn’t heard of the LAPD’s warning.

‘Seems safe here so far,’ he told The Associated Press, wearing a gold chain around his neck.

Bunker said because he’s from a major city, he won’t take any extra precautions walking around LA during the day. But he said he might think twice at night.

‘Like at the club, you’ve got to keep your eyes out,’ he said.

In November, detectives from the police department’s elite Robbery-Homicide Division formed a Follow-Home Task Force to investigate crimes where people are targeted by criminals and tailed home or to an isolated area. People were often followed from areas such as Melrose Avenue and the city’s jewelry district, as well as high-end restaurants and nightclubs in Hollywood and Wilshire.

Scene of the crime: The incident took place in the parking lot behind The Oppenheim Group offices on Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood (Pictured above)

Scene of the crime: The incident took place in the parking lot behind The Oppenheim Group offices on Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood (Pictured above) 

‘The victims were being targeted based on the high-end jewelry they were wearing or the high-end car they were driving,’ police said in a statement in November announcing the task force’s creation.

Brenda Nolan, 70, has lived her whole life in Los Angeles. On Wednesday in the Melrose area — wearing a gold ring, silver earrings and several necklaces — she said she had seen the video of the Beverly Hills smash-and-grab on TV but doesn’t feel the need to take off or hide her jewelry in public.

‘I can defend myself, even today at my age,’ she said, noting she’s taken karate and that she has good instincts from a lifetime in the city and stays aware of her surroundings.

In Culver City, police last week announced the arrests in connection with separate robberies — including one where the victims were targeted and followed home — earlier this month.

In one case, the armed thieves allegedly stole more than $3,600 worth of jewelry from a man at a mall parking garage. In the other incident, one victim was pistol-whipped and the other had their Rolex and phone stolen at gunpoint during a follow-home robbery.

On Tuesday, masked robbers used sledgehammers to break the window of Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills, making off with $3 million to $5 million in merchandise before fleeing.

Owner Peter Sedghi said he was in his back office when he heard what sounded like gunshots.

‘I yelled at my staff, ‘Everyone get on the floor, get on the floor,’’ he told AP.

Sedghi said he hit the panic alarm, grabbed his gun and ran toward the front of the store but the thieves were already fleeing. The robbers arrived in a stolen car and abandoned it, leaving in another vehicle, police said.

‘We’re in the heart of Beverly Hills. Who thought this would happen in broad daylight?’ he said Wednesday as his staff continued to inventory what had been stolen.

In the wake of high-profile robberies in the region — where people have been targeted for pieces such as Rolex watches and gold chains — Sedghi said some of his customers are afraid to wear their jewelry in public and are only donning it for events such as weddings and galas.

‘Beverly Hills is supposed to be a safe area, you should be able to walk around wearing whatever jewelry you want,’ he said.


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