Lt. William Moulder of the LA County Sheriff’s Department gave the Public Safety Commission a wide-ranging update on recent crime events and statistics in West Hollywood at their meeting Monday night.
He first addressed the spate of recent mailbox thefts that has plagued West Hollywood West this summer.
The department recently met with the postmaster about the problem, and Moulder revealed that the alleged thief or thieves do have backdoor access to the mailboxes, as neighbors had reported.
“People committing these crimes actually have keys,” Moulder said, “which is very problematic.”
He offered some practical suggestions for residents while the investigation proceeds.
“Make sure the building is secure and also pick up mail as quickly as possible and packages as quickly as possible,” he said.
He then turned his attention to Cookies, the controversial L.A. cannabis dispensary that neighbors say is bringing a criminal element to WeHo city limits.
There were few improvements to be reported.
“We are still getting complaints from neighbors in the area about vehicles illegally parked, people smoking marijuana on the streets and causing disturbances,” he said. “Just a week and a half ago, I was over in the neighborhood and talked to two people that live there and they expressed the same concerns that it is an ongoing issue.”
Moulder said deputies are monitoring the area but because the store is in Los Angeles there’s a limit to what can be done.
“There’s been a lot of things to try to mitigate the problem but at the end of day, is that a good idea? We just try to keep mitigating problems and leave it that way rather than finding the problem.”
Commissioner Robert B. Oliver noted that even increased law enforcement presence has affected the neighborhood.
“They say even with all this private security, it feels like living in a war zone,” he said.
Commissioner Kerri Balbone relayed an encounter that many West Hollywood residents may find familiar: the naked homeless person engaged in lewd conduct in public. She wondered why dispatch told her to remain in place until law enforcement arrived.
“I will tell you as a female walking alone in the city someone performing something like that I’m going to get as far away as possible,” she said.
Across the city, crime in June was down 14 percent compared with June of last year.
The year to date, Part I crimes are down more than 6 percent from 2020, which was already trending downward.
Crime in the city center dropped 51 percent, a response to a concerted effort by the department. Burglaries fell by half, while robberies grew 10 percent.