LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Los Angeles police with the Rampart Division held a press conference Thursday to raise awareness of a spike in burglary and thefts from vehicles in the area.

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Capt. Steve Ruiz with the LAPD said authorities have arrested gang members and transient-types suspected of auto-related crimes, as well as, stealing purses and valuables from shopping carts of unsuspecting people.

According to police, auto theft remains the biggest issue.

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Last month, there was a 7-day period when 12 vehicles where cars were taken, driven around and then dumped once they ran out of gas. Police refer to this as joy-riding theft.

Another major increase is at bus stops where people wearing gold chains are being targeted.

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Anyone with information as to the crimes described or the suspects is urged to contact the LAPD Rampart Division at (213) 484-3490.