People move to Los Angeles from all over the world for the weather, glitz, glamour and a Hollywood lifestyle that only the City of Angels can offer.
However, our crime problem is now so out of control that we are now being told to leave our watches, expensive cars and wallets at home in order to protect ourselves from emboldened criminals.
We have essentially collectively thrown in the towel on trying to do something to catch and punish the criminals and instead just resorted to hiding everything that they might want to steal from us.
On March 24 of last year, LAPD Chief Michel Moore told Angelenos to leave their flashy jewelry and cars at home.
“What we’re asking the public to do with these crime increases is if they’re going to wear expensive jewelry or drive high-end cars, when leaving restaurants, taverns and other locations, they need to be mindful of their surroundings, and be in well lit areas. [We ask that] they recognize there are opportunists that are willing to take advantage of them and many times, these individuals are armed with firearms,” said Moore.
Moore said the LAPD is “tracking the increase in armed robberies.” Armed robberies are up 44% since last year, the police department reported.
So, let me get this straight — With armed robberies at an all-time high, Los Angeles residents are being warned by LAPD not to go out in public while prominently displaying lots of expensive jewelry.
So … what? Mr. T isn’t supposed to leave his house for months?
We’re also being advised not to drive expensive-looking cars, which would explain the uptick in Prius sales.
Remember those bumper stickers that read, “My Other Car Is A Mercedes”? Who knew those people were just trying to not get carjacked?
Even wearing well-fitting, stylish, expensive-looking clothes can get you robbed. So I guess Rihanna has nothing to worry about.
At an LAPD press conference on Jan. 12 of this year, the public was told to leave literally nothing visible in the car.
The LAPD’s campaign to get law-abiding citizens to hide their valuables is known as “Stash It Don’t Flash It,” which is better than the more accurate name, “We Give Up.”
“It could be anything from a phone charger to change in the cup holder, that they’re gonna break the window out and take,” said Sgt. Gordon Helper, leader of the campaign.
“Absolutely, they’ll even break a window to get a bottle of water so they can recycle its container, whether it’s aluminum or plastic,” added Capt. Elaine Morales.
Great, even our criminals are hand-wringing about global warming.
And most recently, a restaurant in Sherman Oaks announced that they will no longer accept cash, after being burglarized for the seventh time in as many months.
Briana Valdez and her sister opened the HomeState restaurant seven months ago. They told ABC7 they’ve lost $50,000 in stolen property, damages and cash since then.
“I thought the first time, even the second time, was just one-offs — but now that it’s happening about once a month, it’s become such a recurring issue and challenge that we’ve really had to think about: what can we do?” Valdez said.
LAPD crime numbers for the Sherman Oaks area show robberies, burglaries and thefts increased in 2022, compared to the previous two years.
Fun fact: Even not carrying cash doesn’t make you safe. A lot of stick-up guys take Venmo now.
Just think, the next time you go to a fancy restaurant in L.A., the hostess will greet you with, “Is this for dine-in, take-out or robbery?”
Learning to live with out-of-control crime is no way to live. We have to stop thinking like an abuse victim who bends over backwards to justify the outrageous behavior of our tormentor, and start thinking like the taxpayers who pay a fortune to live here, and deserve to reside in a safe place.
Chief Moore spent his first term teaching us now not to get robbed. It didn’t work. He should spend his second term making life miserable for L.A.’s criminals.
John Phillips can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. on “The John Phillips Show” on KABC/AM 790.