GRIFFITH PARK (CBSLA.com) — Car burglars are bringing Griffith Observatory visitors back down to earth.
Los Angeles Police Department detectives said when people are looking up at the stars, crooks are smashing in windows and stealing whatever is inside.
“It’s just such a great family place. To know that it might not be as safe as it once was is a sad thought about my city,” said L.A. native Elizabeth Menzel.
Detectives said a suspect in a photograph is one of four who are responsible for breaking in to cars at and near the Griffith Observatory. At least a dozen in just one weekend in June alone. They also said there’s evidence they could be an organized crew targeting cars and homes from L.A. to San Francisco.
A witness to one of the break-ins took the picture of the suspect and notified park rangers who then tried to stop the men who sped off in their vehicle, hitting another car and injuring its driver.
Paulo Frederico was visiting Griffith Park from Brazil on Wednesday. He said he’s used to thefts in his home country, but not here.
“It’s sad that it’s happening here,” Frederico said. “Because it’s a beautiful site. It’s a beautiful place.”
LAPD Northeast detectives are requesting the public’s assistance in nabbing the suspects and said that police are beefing up patrols in the area.