CRIME REPORT: Two Kids Terrorized by Hot Prowl

At the Pacific Palisades Community Council zoom meeting, a crime which occurred on October 17, in the 700 block of Hartzell, involving a “hot prowl” was discussed.

Two kids were in the house around 7 p.m., while the parents were out. There were also two dogs in the home, when three suspects broke into the back door.

According to Senior Lead Officer Brian Espin, the kids opened the upstairs door and saw the suspects walking inside the house. One of the suspects was holding a kitchen knife.  Once the suspects saw the residents upstairs, the immediately fled with some property.

The suspect dropped the knife when running out. “The knife was recovered and booked as evidence,” Espin said. “They will usually flee once they realize somebody is inside.”

The young girl who was home said, “the dog was barking, and one grabbed a big knife.”

The girl called 911 and told members of the Community Council, “When I was on the phone it took a very long time for the police to come.”

She was told that a helicopter would be there, but one never came.

The initial 911 call for the “hot prowl” was made at 7:09 p.m. and from the moment it was placed, it was an 18 minutes response time.

West Los Angeles is one of the largest geographical areas in Los Angeles. The normal response time for Code 3 (lights and sirens) in West L.A. is 8 minutes, but “I can’t give you an average response time for the Palisades,” Espin said, but noted that if a police car were at the far end of the boundary for West L.A. it could take longer to get here.

Espin explained that almost always with a hot prowl a helicopter is sent up, but if there are conditions, such as a marine layer or other weather conditions, it doesn’t go up.

Espin praised the young girl on the Zoom meeting, “You locked yourself in the room, you did the right thing,” he said, and urged everyone to have a plan, which might include running out of a house to a neighbor.

The dad said they had eight cameras on the house and two dogs, but still their home was targeted.

Espin said that 99 percent of the time when burglars see someone in the house, they run out. He added that burglars are traveling groups of three and four, driving rented high-end cars. Neighbors need to be on the look out for neighbors, he said.



October 17, 7:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., in the 17500 block of Tramonto Drive. A suspect used a hard object to smash rear glass door, ransack, removed victim’s property (gun) and then fled. Latent prints were requested.

October 17, 3 to 7:30 p.m. in the 500 block of Bienveneda Avenue. The suspect pried open a detached garage door. The inside of the garage was ransacked. House keys left by garage door were taken and possibly used to enter the home because the sliding glass door was unlocked. Nothing was taken from the house.

October 17, 6 to 7 p.m., in the 500 block of Las Casas Avenue. A suspect smashed a window, ransacked the house, and removed victim’s property, including a ring. Latent prints were requested. There is possibly a CCTV.

October 17, 6:50 to 7:10 p.m., in the 700 block of Hartzell Street. Suspects smashed rear glass door, entered locked property and fled location with property when suspects realized the victim was home. Suspect dropped kitchen knife when fleeing.


October 18 to 19, 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., in the 600 block of Bienveneda Ave. Suspect took property from victim’s vehicle parked in alley or driveway.

October 21, 11:25 p.m., in the 1700 block of Pacific Coast Highway. Victim secured vehicle in parking lot. The suspect entered the vehicle, through unknown means, took victim’s property and fled location.

October 22, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., in the 17000 block of Pacific Coast Highway. Victim parked vehicle on PCH and left key in the wheel well while he went surfing. Unknown suspects found key, opened car, took victim’s property and fled location.



October 19, 11 to 11:50 a.m., in the 800 block of Haverford Ave. Victim parked unsecured vehicle in parking lot. Suspect took vehicle.

October 20, 8 a.m., in the 17300 block of Sunset Boulevard. The victim parked vehicle to go surf. Unknown if the vehicle was secured. There were keys that had been left inside. Suspect took vehicle.

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