The Westwood Village Improvement Association held a virtual merchant meeting with the LAPD on Tuesday to discuss crime and safety.
Representatives of local businesses, stakeholders and WVIA Executive Director Andrew Thomas attended the meeting.
Tuesday’s meeting followed a city-wide tactic alert released by the police department on Nov. 26 due to multiple armed robberies in the city, according to the Los Angeles Times.
[Related: Crimewatch: November 2021]
LAPD Representatives James Allen, Scott Alpert and Jonathan Tom gave a presentation on Crime and Safety in Westwood Village.
Thefts and burglaries were up 2.9% and 3.6%, respectively, from a year ago in the region, indicating that the village is not currently a major target, they said. However, major retailers such as 7-Eleven, CVS Pharmacy and Trader Joe’s could be the target of break-ins, they added.
Store owners should not place expensive unlocked items near exits and can use CCTV cameras to deter crime, Tom said. Signs informing buyers that they are being filmed and televisions showing the filming can also improve their efficiency, he added.
Tom also said that better quality video cameras can be a wise investment, as inferior cameras may not capture a suspect or their vehicle’s license plate, especially at night. Positioning cameras at exits and on streets where people can enter, exit or park their cars can also be effective, Tom added.
Stores selling big-ticket items should secure those items during nightly closing hours, as most on-the-fly thefts target the storefront, Tom said.
Tom also advised owners to clarify employee expectations in the event of a burglary and that employees should hand over physical assets for their own safety to minimize risk and damage to workers.
Tom said the LAPD may consider placing a decoy vehicle in the village to deter crime and that he has been working with the UCPD on additional patrols in the village.