12 cars stolen in Koreatown in just 23 days

July 31, 2015
According to data accumulated by LAPD, crime is down in Koreatown. (Ha Sang-yoon)

12 stolen vehicle cases were reported to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Olympic Division from July 1 to July 23. (Korea Times file)

By Tae Hong

It was just another night of finding a street parking space and heading home for Koreatown resident Eileen Tran, 22, on Monday last week.

But when she came back the next morning, her 2009 Toyota RAV4 was gone.

Hers was one of 12 stolen vehicle cases reported to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Olympic Division from July 1 to July 23.

With the exception of one carjacking incident involving men carrying weapons, 11 cars were taken from street parking spaces overnight during that time, LAPD said.

“I rely on my car to go to work and get me around, but then [this] makes me wonder if I can even walk around,” said Tran, whose car was taken on St. Andrews Place. “Because if my car can’t be safe, then how safe are the streets in general?”

Koreatown is notorious for its limited parking spaces, with some residential buildings not being able to offer parking lots, she said. Street parking is oftentimes the only option.

Police told her another car on her street was stolen the same night.

“It’s scary,” Tran said. “Does more security even help? Or cameras?”

Among other vehicles taken were a 1996 Honda Accord from 2nd Street and Kenmore Avenue and a 2001 Toyota 4Runner SUV from 5th Street and Olympic Boulevard. Others included 1990s Honda Civics and 2000s Toyota SUVs, all vehicles with high parts values.

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