HPBD Using Social Media & Surveillance Cameras To Find And Track Down Thieves
As anyone who has lived in Hermosa Beach and the neighboring towns of Manhattan and Redondo for a while well knows, it’s important to lock up your bicycle when you park it.
And sometimes that doesn’t even help. My friend’s bike was swiped one night when the thief busted a wooden fence to where had it locked.
I always tell people to lock up the bike even if you’re going inside a store for 30 seconds to get a pack of gum. If there’s an unlocked bike next to a car with the keys in it and the engine running, the bike is likely to be the vehicle that gets stolen.
The Hermosa Beach Police Department has been cracking down on this annoying part of life in the city lately, from running sting operations to patrolling social media sites like Next Door and when people post videos of their bikes being swiped.
And now the HBPD is encouraging residents to register their bikes to make them easier to recover if they are stolen. It is called the Project 529 program and you can register here: https://project529.com/garage/organizations/hermosabeachpolicedepartment/landing.
They also want residents who have doorbell camera with the department on the Neighbors app, which can be found in the App Store or by texting”staysafe” to 555888.
“HBPD has implemented a bicycle enforcement program in the past several months which has resulted in 18 arrests for the theft of a bicycle,” Peter Ahlstrom, Community Services Division Manager of the HPBD stated in an e-mail to Hermosa Beach Police Group Captains (of which I am one).
“A majority of the subjects have been found to have outstanding warrants for other crimes or be on probation; and/or had recently been arrested for similar crimes and released on a citation by the filing agency or the court. Most of these suspects were previously unknown to the HBPD and are not considered locals.
“The HBPD follows up on every theft where there are actionable leads. One consistently valuable source of leads has been from residential video, such Ring video or other camera video. Two suspects were recently arrested after a Ring video was posted on NextDoor. The video clearly showed the suspect and vehicle involved and detectives were able to identify the suspect and vehicle information.
“Partnering with other South Bay agencies, detectives were able to locate the suspects and apprehend them. The arrest led to the recovery of personal property, packages, and hundreds of pieces of mail.”
Take advantage of these programs offered by the HBPD. If the thieves know that residents are being aggressive in pursuit of recovering their bikes and are assisting the police in identifying those responsible for it then they may think twice about stealing one in the first place.