Empty Police Car Serves as Deterrent?

This empty police car has been parked on Sunset, off and on, for the past week.

An LAPD vehicle has been parked on westbound Sunset Boulevard across from the Village Green and near Erewhon. Most likely this is in response to the brazen burglary at Towne by Elyse Walker in Caruso’s mall on July 9.

Captain Jonathan Tom reported, “In that incident, four male Black suspects wearing hoodies and masks went into the store and took several high-end handbags. There was no reported force used by the suspects. They were in and out in a matter of a minute or less.”

+The LAPD is understaffed, which may account for the fact that an extra police car is available to stand watch out on Sunset, day after day.

CTN’s editor recalls that in 2005, after residents were told there wasn’t money in the budget to increase police presence in Pacific Palisades, the LAPD stationed an empty car on Sunset to “scare away” the bad guys.

L.A.Times Reporter Martha Groves reported in May of that year (“Robbers Rattle the Palisades”) that the First Federal Bank branch on Sunset had been robbed.

“In fact, it was the fifth bank robbery in the affluent enclave this year,” Groves wrote, noting that Bank of America had been hit twice, along with Citibank and California National. “Five bank robberies in five months — and the armed robbery of popular Mort’s Palisades Deli for the first time in its 32-year history — have residents and merchants lamenting that something about their community has changed.

“’The sound of a helicopter overhead is usually a dead giveaway’ that another bank has been hit, said Megan Kaufman, owner of the Nest Egg, a gift shop near several of the eight bank branches in the main commercial district. ‘If I ever opened another store, I think I’d call it the Sitting Duck.’

“For its part, the Los Angeles Police Department has parked an unmanned ‘dummy’ police car along Sunset this week. In case anybody missed that it was empty, the Palisadian-Post newspaper featured a photo of the car and an explanation that it was a ‘bank robbery suppression decoy car.’ Thursday’s heist would suggest that at least one robber was undeterred.”

After the slew of robberies, banks in town installed security measures, which included putting tellers behind plexiglass cages.

Is this most recent dummy police car a “handbag burglary suppression decoy car?” Only time will tell.

Or the decoy car could open up a conversation about funding/defunding the police, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Community Safety Partnership (a bureau, which has a mix of sworn and civilian leadership and is meant to shift the mindset from “warrior mentality” to a “guardian mentality”) and how more affluent communities simply hire private security to help fight crime.


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4 Responses to Empty Police Car Serves as Deterrent?

  1. Ron Parker says:

    Santa Monica has done that police car decoy exercise on Wilshire in front of the 3rd street promenade for years!

  2. Tim says:

    As if the great swaths of paint peeling off the car don’t indicate it’s a derelict decoy…

  3. Janet says:

    Another feeble attempt by LAPD! We have the worst police resources imaginable since the horrible move by LAPD to ignore us and force Rusty out of our town. For the sake of all, PLEASE BRING RUSTY REDICAN BACK!

    We need an articles and push for PPCC to take on how poorly we are policed since Rusty has been gone? Homeless everywhere in the village! PPTFH seems a non factor, without Rusty’s focused help. SLO Espan is horrible. Are we waiting for another fire?

    PS I saw them jump starting that car to start it. Keystone Cops.

  4. Sue says:

    Just to let you know the empty police car was around in 2003, parked in front of the Mobil station–(at Swarthmore and Sunset) when there were also scant resources up here.

    More recently, with Councilman Mike Bonin voting to defund the police and not offering discretionary funding to keep officers here, Captain Tom worked it so even though he didn’t have the resources, he was able to keep the beach detail – which is major for keeping the homeless off the beach.

    I absolutely adored Rusty–but the amount of money that the City Council has taken away from the police is substantial. Additionally, the advocates for the homeless oversee every step the police take, so everything has to be justified.

    One would assume that since the City Council had passed a resolution that does not allow homeless within 500 feet of the school, that the police could remove Ruby from the Library (it’s 500 feet from Corpus), but the legality is still being factored.

    The change that has to come is not particularly a different police officer, but advocating the City Council, including Mike Bonin to put residents safety as a number one priority.

    I’m in touch almost weekly with the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness and they continue to offer services and follow up with the homeless–but some laws have to be changed–why not reach out to the PPTFH and see if you can volunteer?

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