LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Police Department Wednesday warned the public about a recent string of van thefts in the Wilshire Area.

Several vans containing painting, plumbing and gardening tools have been stolen over the past four weeks.

So far, only one of the vehicles has been recovered, but its contents were missing, according to the LAPD.

The crimes have taken place south of Pico Boulevard and north of Interstate 10 between Arlington Avenue and La Cienega Boulevard.

“It appears the Spanish-speaking community is being victimized, and it is unfortunate that people’s livelihoods are being ruined by these criminal acts,” the department said in a statement.

Officials recommend the public consider the following tips to protect their vehicles:

• Park in a secure and/or well lighted area

• Ensure that vehicles are locked and secure

• No “spare” keys should be left inside

• A good-quality steering wheel/brake pedal locking device can serve as a visible deterrent

• An ignition kill switch can temporarily disable the vehicle when not in use

Anyone with information about the thefts was asked to contact Det. Carmine Sass at (213)473-0556 or the LAPD at (877)LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800)222-TIPS.


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