After years of rising crime in Los Angeles, elites in wealthy neighborhoods are finally panicking about the recent string of high-profile retail robberies and home burglaries. Experts say wealthy individuals are purchasing bulletproof cars, safe rooms, employing armed guards, and even constructing walls with barbed wire around their properties.
The issue of violent crime is nothing new to Los Angeles, but a spillover to upscale neighborhoods has put elites on edge. The Hollywood Reporter reports agencies who provide private security are seeing increasing demand for private patrols.
Since August, Rising S Company, a company that builds underground bunkers, has installed 13 safe rooms, nine safe doors, two underground bunker shelters, and two window fortifications across Brentwood Park, Beverly Park, and Paradise Cove. This compares with seven safe rooms in California in the last 2.5 years.
Estate manager Bryan Peele, president and founder of the L.A.-based Estate Managers Coalition, said his clients have “fully equipped safe rooms that they can live in for a few days, if necessary, that are completely hard-wired with phone cables, Internet, everything.”
One of Peele’s clients has three bulletproof cars and wears fake Rolexes. “This guy will take a $200,000 Rolex and copy it, using stainless steel and other metals, so it looks like the original but costs maybe $2,000-$3,000 per watch. So, in the event that it’s stolen, the client is out a lot less money,” he said.
Many upscale homes are installing more cameras, constructing fences with barbed wire, and employing 24-7 security details that will protect them from once their private jet touches down to their mansions.
Some people are even taking firearm and self-defense classes so they will know how to defend their family and or themselves in an emergency.
Violent crime rises from an alarming cocktail of criminal justice reforms. For instance, thieves can steal up to $950 in goods and receive a slap on the wrist, the equivalent of a traffic ticket. Criminal gangs have taken advantage of relaxed laws and have recently gone on a wave of retailer smash and grab robberies. There have also been high-profile robberies of elites.
When philanthropist Jacqueline Avant was murdered in her Beverly Hills mansion earlier this month, it was a wake-up call for the community.
“Almost immediately after the Avant shooting, it’s been crazy busy. We have increased operations in that area tremendously,” said Aaron Jones, CEO of International Protective Security. “I have a lot of regular VIPs; when people call, I get on the phone with them. We understand the urgency of what’s going on. It’s nonstop.”
Criminal justice reforms caused all this madness. Law and order needs to be restored or people will start moving out of the area.