E-bike, e-bike battery thefts on upward trend

Thieves are popping out batteries from e-bikes left unattended. Photo by Kevin Cody

by Liz Mullen

“The biggest crime trend we are seeing involves property crimes,” Hermosa Beach Police Chief LeBaron said in a recent interview. “The smash and grabs are highly publicized. But although they are serious,  they are not as frequent.”
“We see a lot of bicycles stolen from garages,” LeBaron said. “People have got to realize, those e-bikes are worth a couple of thousand dollars a piece.” LeBaron said that many garage thefts are preventable simply by closing and locking the garage door.

“The one crime we are seeing that is a little frustrating is the theft of e-bike batteries,” LeBaron said. “Someone parks a bike and goes indoors and someone steals the battery from it. They are really not secure. We are seeing a lot of juveniles doing this because they can resell those batteries for a little bit of money.”

At the Hermosa Beach City Council meeting on March 26, LeBaron told the city officials of a successful investigation HBPD detectives completed using technology. A Hermosa resident called the HBPD on March 16 when the resident discovered someone had stolen his identity and was using it to rent cars, one of which the suspect crashed. 

HBPD detectives, working with the assistance of the rental car company and using advanced technology, were able to identify the suspect. 

“Detectives located the suspect and he was arrested for identity theft. The suspect was in possession of a loaded firearm and had numerous criminal convictions.”
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has agreed to prosecute the suspect on five felony counts, LeBaron said. 

 Two assaults in Hermosa, and a dog bite

On the 700 block of Pier Avenue on March 16, a vehicle hit a person walking his bicycle. The pedestrian confronted the driver, who backed up the vehicle, knocking down the pedestrian. In another incident, on the 500 block of Pier Avenue on March 15, people arrived at the location to pick up property belonging to them. The suspect pushed one of the people, causing that person to fall. The suspect told HBPD officers the people were trespassing.
A dog bite was reported on the 700 block of 21st Street on March 16.

Scammers trick elderly Manhattan Beach man out of his watch

An elderly man was walking on Highland Avenue on March 14 when three people approached him. The three suspects began complimenting the man and offering him jewelry to distract him. They told him to keep the cheap jewelry.  It was only after the man got home that he realized his watch was missing. 

Manhattan Beach Police Department officers were dispatched to the Trader Joe’s on Rosecrans on March 15 regarding a pickpocketing incident. A woman shopper realized her wallet was missing from her purse when she was about to pay for her groceries. The woman later discovered that someone used her credit card. 

A residence that is under construction on the 1200 block of 5th Street was burglarized twice in two days. Tools and a dryer were stolen between March 17 and March 18.  

Manhattan Beach Police took 54 crime reports during the week of March 14 to March 20. The crimes included 10 thefts, four vehicle burglaries, two residential burglaries, one business burglary, one assault and one incident of vandalism. 

More e-bike thefts in Redondo

Two electric bicycles were stolen from two different garages in Redondo Beach, and an employee who tried to stop a suspect from taking shirts was slapped and threatened during the week of March 1 to March 7.

On March 3 on the 1800 block of Hawthorne Boulevard a suspect picked out merchandise from an open store and concealed it in a shoulder bag. 

 The suspect had removed the security tags on Lacoste shirts and left them in the dressing room. The suspect left without paying for the shirts. 

When confronted by an employee, the suspect slapped the employee and verbally threatened to kill the employee. The suspect got away.

On March 3 in the 3000 block of Prospect Avenue a suspect entered a parking garage by cutting the lock off an electronic gate. The suspect got away with a Joy Rice Hurley Mini Swell e-bike.

On Feb. 29, on the 500 block of Alberta Avenue, a suspect entered a garage and stole a Super 73 S-1 e-bike.

There were two residential burglaries during the week, including one in the 2200 block of Perkins Lane. The suspect entered the home by smashing the kitchen window and took a blown glass dragon, a blown glass sphere, clothing, including sweatshirts, hoodies, sweatpants and tennis shirts and a Mavic drone.

The second residential burglary was in the 2000 block of Artesia. The suspect entered by pushing open a window and took cash, a Social Security card, two Louis Vuitton handbags and a Louis Vuitton wallet. ER


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