Korean-American Jeong, 65, informed The Korea Daily on May 25 that her bag was stolen from a restaurant near Western Ave. and 12th St. at around 4 p.m. on April 14.
According to Jeong, the restaurant had very few customers when she entered with her acquaintance. As she sat down to wait for her order, her bag, which she had placed near the aisle, disappeared.
“A Hispanic couple came in, sat down in the back saying they were waiting for a group, and didn’t order,” Jeong said. “I initially sensed something fishy and wanted to put the bag away, but I left it there because I thought I was being overly suspicious. But while I was talking to my acquaintance, they took off with it,” she said.
Jeong stated that her Louis Vuitton handbag, luxury wallet, keychain, and $7,000 in cash were stolen, amounting to approximately $16,000.
“Recently, my acquaintances were also pickpocketed at two restaurants frequented by Korean-Americans,” Jeong said. “I’ve been living in the U.S. for over 40 years, and the criminals just seem to be getting bolder.”
According to the crime statistics from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), there have been a total of 355 thefts in the city so far this year through May 16, averaging 2.6 cases per day.
The Olympic Police Station, which covers L.A. Koreatown, has the second-highest number of thefts among the 21 LAPD stations. It reported a total of 30 theft incidents, surpassing Hollywood (28), Southeast (26), Southwest (23), and 77th (22) stations. Central, which includes Downtown L.A., had the highest number of thefts in L.A. with 56 incidents.
Apart from theft crimes, pickpocketing reached a total of 31 cases in the Olympic area. This ranks fourth highest among all police departments, following Central (122), Hollywood (64), and Southwest (52).
Within the jurisdiction of the Olympic Police Station, the majority of pickpocketing incidents occurred in nightclubs with nine reported cases. This was followed by bars, cocktail bars, and nightclubs (6), sports bars (5), markets (3), and restaurants (2).
BY SUAH JANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]