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Daytime burglars may be targeting downtown lofts

April 1, 2010 | 11:33 am

The couple entered the Nabisco Lofts at 1850 Industrial St. as a resident leaving the building opened a security door, said LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon. In the next few minutes, the man and woman walked into the individual lofts only to find someone present each time.

With so many people aware of their presence, they left without taking any property, Vernon said.

"This couple’s actions are consistent with daytime burglars,” Vernon said. “Burglars often strike at homes and apartments when they expect people to be at work. They generally want to avoid any personal contact.”

He added: “The most expensive, high-tech system can be dumbed down simply by someone holding a door open for a stranger. That puts your whole building at risk.”

Police warned residents to lock their doors even when home and to check through a front-door peephole before opening it. Detectives released photos of the man and woman taken from the security video. They said the man was thought to be in his 40s and the woman in her 30s, and they were seen driving away in a brown Chevy Avalanche.

Witnesses said the man was black, bald, nearly 6 feet tall, weighed more than 250 pounds and wore glasses. The woman was black, 5-feet-6, 180 pounds with braided hair, and wore high-top shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Mike Mazzacano at (213) 972-1231.

-- Richard Winton

Photo: Security video showing man who may have been trying to burglarize lofts with a woman. Credit:  LAPD.