Thieves break into student cars

Chronicle Staff

By Austin Block

 Burglars broke into five student vehicles parked on Coldwater Canyon Avenue just outside the Upper School during the school day on Nov. 10. Security Officer Mark Geiger said the five break-ins were the most he recollects ever occurring in one day on Coldwater.

Geiger said a purse, an iPod and one other electronic device were stolen. A dashboard was also ripped out. Nothing was taken from one of the five cars.

He said the incident prompted the school to temporarily post a security guard on Coldwater for short periods of time. However, posting a permanent guard on the street would be impractical, and though Security checks on student cars when they go out to Coldwater to complete other tasks, they don’t post a guard on the street.

Geiger added that there has been some talk of installing security cameras on Coldwater, but no action has been taken. The winding street would force the school to install several cameras to cover the entire length of Coldwater. He suspects the crimes were all committed by the same group of people and has not yet heard any report saying that the culprits have been caught.

“I was in seventh period physics and [Attendance Coordinator Gabe] Preciado came in and I guess told my teacher what was going on, and then he took me outside and told me that my car was broken into and he told me to get my stuff, so I got my stuff and went outside to Coldwater and Mark [Geiger] was there waiting for me,” Nadia Dubovitsky ’12, whose car was broken into, said. “[Geiger] just asked me if anything was stolen and nothing was stolen thank god because I didn’t have any valuables in the car…the window was smashed. I think they tried to take the stereo out but they failed to do so, so it just kind of screwed up the dashboard.”

Detective Tim Shaw of the Los Angeles Police Department’s North Hollywood division said only one of the five crimes was reported. A navigation and radio system was removed from the car and the window was smashed. He said that the area around school is generally fairly quiet and added that the biggest problem in the area is theft of valuables left out in vehicles.

Shaw said no suspects were seen and said that though there have been arrests in recent weeks for GPS system theft, none of those criminals have been connected with this particular report.

He said people who commit these kinds of crimes are often drug addicts who steal systems and then sell them quickly to fund drug habits.

Geiger advised students to make sure their cars are locked and to avoid leaving valuables out in plain sight.