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Thieves, Burglars Target Poinsettia Ave.

Residents on four blocks have valuables taken from unlocked cars. Burglars smash windows to gain access to purses.

It wasn't such a great Valentine's Day for some Manhattan Beach residents who live on Poinsettia Avenue. The morning of Wednesday, Feb. 15, at least four residents discovered that their cars had been accessed and items taken, according to the Manhattan Beach Police Department.

In two instances, the vehicles were unlocked; in the other two cases, a window was smashed. The four burglaries and thefts come on the heels of a theft on the same street sometime between 5 p.m. and 6 a.m. on Feb. 5 and 6.

"All five of these crimes were absolutely preventable had the owners locked their cars and taken their property with them or removed it from plain view," MBPD Public Information Officer Stephanie Martin told Manhattan Beach Patch. "Our property crimes would be reduced by at least 80% if personal property was secured."

The crimes were committed in the 1900, 2000, 2300 and 2400 blocks of Poinsettia Avenue in what the city calls "Area 3." Items taken include wallets, credit cards, bowling balls, Bluetooth, a camera, check books, a laptop computer, a briefcase, an iPod, a purse containing a leather card holder, credit card and driver’s license and a purse containing cash, credit cards, debit card and checks.

"It’s time to close down the 'Manhattan Beach Buffet' and let thieves know that they are not welcome in our town," said Martin, noting that individuals need to be responsible for their personal property and not leave it in a vehicle.

She said that it's likely that two or three suspects walked up and down the blocks checking door handles for unlocked vehicles and peering inside to see what valuables were left in plain view.

A credit card taken in the Feb. 5 and 6 report has been used by someone other than its owner since then, said Martin.

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