Watch CBS News

Car break-ins on the rise in Griffith Park

Thieves targeting rental cars at LA's most popular landmarks
Thieves targeting rental cars at LA's most popular landmarks 01:52

There's been a rash of car break-ins at Griffith Park, and police want visitors to be vigilant.

The LAPD says they have seen an increase of vehicles being broken into and ransacked around the park -- especially rental cars that are likely being driven by tourists visiting from out of the area.

So far this year, the LAPD has seen 121 break-ins at Griffith Park, with thieves getting away with valuables like purses, luggage, cameras, passports, and plane tickets. Investigators are using surveillance cameras in and around the park to try to track the break-ins, and they say may have detected a pattern.

"We have been tracking organized theft groups that have come from Northern California" who are using rental cars, LAPD Detective Michael Ventura said. "When we work backwards, we can see where the cars were rented and that they originate in Northern California, come down here, and they go throughout, whether it's in Griffith Park, Hollywood Division, and sometimes we'll even see them out in Venice Beach."

Exterior and Landmarks
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 15: Views of Friends of Griffith Park as they participate with local resident associations in a rally to keep popular Griffith Park trailhead to Hollywood Sign open to public on April 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California on April 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images) Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

City officials want visitors to Griffith Park to be on alert, so new signs urging drivers to "Lock It, Hide It, Keep It" are going up around the park. Visitors are being reminded to keep their property in the trunk of their cars to keep their vehicles from looking like a tempting target.

And rental cars appear to be particularly vulnerable to being broken into, because thieves believe they contain more valuables.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.