MANHATTAN BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Cities across the South Bay have joined a task force hoping to track down criminals responsible for a recent spike in residential burglaries.
Manhattan Beach police say the number of home burglaries has doubled in the first half of October, and authorities say other South Bay cities are getting hit hard too.
Dr. Sheri Feldman showed KCAL9′s Serene Branson the crowbar mark left by two men who burglarized her Manhattan Beach home while she was out with her family.
“My guys left my house with masks on, gloves, and carrying trash bags in the middle of the day at 3:17 and no one called the police,” she said.
Video from nearby security cameras shows one suspect approaching, signaling his buddy wearing a surgical mask, then both men walking out with masks and bags full of Feldman’s jewelry.
“You feel violated. It’s like a rape,” she said.
Linda Reinstein’s home was also hit. Burglars smashed a back door and carried out a 150-pound safe.
“It’s shattering to have your home burglarized. It’s not about money. It’s about treasures that are irreplaceable,” she said.
“It’s about the sense of violation that we feel coming home to what used to be our dream house and now I’m actually scared here,” Reinstein explained.
Sgt. Paul Ford calls it a spike that can’t be explained by open doors in the summertime.
“Where we would generally have four to five, we’re now seeing upwards of 10 a month,” he said.
Ford said investigators are still working to determine why the spike is occurring.
“That’s still being investigated by our agency and other agencies we’ve been trading information with,” he said.
El Segundo had a home burglary two days ago, and Torrance police told KCAL9 it’s a growing problem in their city too.
Authorities say they’ve set up task forces to share burglary information with the beach cities of Hermosa, Redondo and Manhattan Beach.
In the meantime, Feldman says her neighborhood has taken safety measures and residents are on alert.
She urged others to be vigilant about reporting anything suspicious.
“Be completely aware of [your] surroundings,” she said, adding, “It’s important to call the police.”
Branson reports Torrance police attribute the spike in crime to the early release of prison inmates to local supervision.
Manhattan Beach police say they’re not ruling that out, but they’re still looking for an explanation.
Authorities say if you are a victim of a residential break-in, call 911 before entering your home.