Burglaries in Malibu have been Sheriff Department’s biggest challenge over past year

LASD encourages homeowners, builders to provide motion lighting, cameras, security on site 

Lieutenant Dustin Carr of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff Department announced that over the last year, the department struggled most with burglaries compared to other crimes.

In his address to the Public Safety Commission on Jan. 4, he said that while burglaries did increase in the city, the department has been cracking down on crime overall.

“The only thing we really got killed in was burglaries. Everything else is down across the board,” Carr said. “Crimes against persons are down 11 percent almost, auto theft down 52.8 percent, robberies down 40 percent.”

According to the year-to-date crime statistics report for the month of November 2022, the Sheriff’s Office reported 45 residential burglaries, an increase from 23 a year prior. 

Lt. Carr reassured the commission that the amount of burglaries did decline to end the year.

“There are people in custody behind these,” Carr said, “It looks like we have fallen back into the average area in line. Those numbers have come down.”

Carr stated that a lot of the burglaries are rebuilding properties and vacation homes.

“We’re going to monitor this and put resources toward it if need be,” Carr said.

Lt. Roman Foss of the Malibu and Lost Hills Sheriff’s Department said if a home is not occupied and is considered a construction site, any burglary of that premises is considered a commercial burglary. 

He said commercial burglaries of residences are common nationwide. 

“Often, construction companies leave thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment on the job site, inside and outside of a residence.” Foss said.

He said these properties are targeted by their identifiable features such as chain link fences surrounding the property, large trash dumpsters, large construction equipment like bulldozers, and lack of lighting among other such tells.

He said the department encourages homeowners and construction companies to provide motion lighting, on-site security guards, live stream security cameras, or even a security office/trailer to create the appearance of a security guard on site. 

Construction sites are also recommended to not leave expensive equipment on site overnight, especially over a full weekend.

To report a crime that has or may have occurred, dial 911 or contact your local law enforcement agency.

The Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriffs Station is located at 27050 Agoura Road, Agoura, CA 91301-5336. It can be contacted by phone at (818) 878-1808, or online at www.lasd.org/malibu-lost-hills

Burglars are targeting home rebuilds and construction sites in attempts to steal work equipment. The sheriff’s department recommends motion lighting, security guards and live security cameras to combat burglaries. Photo by Emmanuel Luissi/TMT

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