Editor’s Note: This is an open letter from the North of Montana Association (NOMA) regarding a recent rash of break-ins.
Dear NOMA members and friends,
We at NOMA have learned that there has been a rash of break-ins on Montana Ave. over the past week, and we’d like to alert everyone to be aware and vigilant of what is going on around you.
After talking with merchants, we have learned that there were five break-ins on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. In each of those cases, someone broke through a door or window, gained access to a store and made away with between $100 and $200 in cash. The stores hit last week were Number One Beauty, Andrew’s Cheese, Palmetto, SemiPrecious, and Citron.
Jack Tour, who has owned Number One Beauty for 28 years, said his store was robbed at about 1:30 am on Wednesday morning, November 6. The other four stores were robbed between approximately 2 am and 4 am on Thursday, November 7.
Then, Sunday night, another store was hit: Cheeky Chic, a pop-up store at 1624 Montana Avenue. After gaining entry by smashing the glass in the front door, someone stole designer leather goods with a retail value estimated at about $4,000.
Montana merchants are saying that this is the largest sweep of burglaries on stores along the avenue that anyone can remember over the past 30 years.
Several said they are concerned that criminals are targeting the neighborhood because Santa Monica Police Department staffing patterns are concentrating patrols in downtown areas, away from Montana Avenue.
Scott McGee, the Santa Monica Police Department’s neighborhood resource officer for our area, tells us there have also been at least one recent window smash burglary each on Wilshire and on Main Street.
Officer McGee says officers are coming in outside of their normal working hours to work these cases. “It’s important to us and just a matter of time” before the suspect or suspects are apprehended, he said.
We will provide additional details as we get them. Neighbors are advised to notify police promptly if they notice anything suspicious. Dial 911 in an emergency; otherwise, the Santa Monica Police Department’s non-emergency number is: 310.458.8491.
Patricia E. Bauer
Co Vice-Chair / North of Montana Association