Downtown L.A. crime is on the rise

Police say too many people in Downtown LA are ending up victims of street robberies. That according to LAPD. Central Division Commanding Officer Capt. Steve Harrelson says street robberies are up 5.6% year to date.

They showed us security video in which robberies occurred. One involved a 74-year old man who was hurt when there was a struggle over his wallet. 

Harrelson says, 'it's tough to prosecute these crimes. It’s difficult, in many instances, because they’re concealing their identity, wearing hoodies and we’re not able to identify who the suspects are so, it’s difficult to make an arrest.'

Police say, one of the biggest problems in these robberies is the smart phone. People looking down at them reading text messages and not paying attention to what’s around them making the unsuspecting and distracted perfect target for robbers.

But, as we found out, a lot of people don’t think about that. We asked two people if they worry about being victims of robbery. Both said, "no". But, others told us they are aware and are careful.

Meanwhile, Captain Harrelson says, "Walk with a friend… put your purse across your body and not on one shoulder or holding in your hand.”

He says, 'Downtown is a great place and people should come and enjoy what the city center has to offer. Says Harrelson, Greater Los Angeles is thriving. The construction, the amount of people that area here now, the restaurants, the condominiums, the apartments… they’re going up everywhere and so it presents a lot of opportunity.”

The bottom line, when enjoying the city don’t bury your head in your cell phone.

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