Topanga Canyon News
Public Property Display At Topanga Station
By Melissa Simon
Sep 23, 2013 - 6:11:00 PM

TOPANGA CANYON—The Topanga Area Property Crimes Detail, part of the LAPD Topanga Division, will hold a public display of stolen property for victims of burglaries on September 26 at the Topanga Community Police Station. The display will start at 10 a.m. and end at 8 p.m.

Detective Merle told Canyon News the items on display will include 1,500 items, mostly jewelry, recovered from the arrest of two suspects allegedly involved in residential burglaries.

“I arrested some people for burglary, I interviewed them and wrote the warrant based on that interview and collected items from one of the guy’s residences that I believed was committing residential burglaries,” Merle said.

Merle said the public display is open to anybody that wants to come but their main targets are the victims of residential burglary. Merle said in order to claim an item, a person would need to have some kind of proof of ownership.

Topanga Police Station

“They would need to have receipts, photographs, appraisals, affidavits from family or things of that nature,” he said.

Should any items remain unclaimed, Merle said the judge would decide what happens to them since they are included on the warrant.

“Normally items that aren’t identified as being stolen are required to go back to the suspect that was arrested, but again that’s strictly up to the judge since it was taken as a result of the search warrant,” he said.

In his experience with law enforcement, Merle said he knows of two other public displays: one for items recovered by a taskforce for knock-knock burglary victims that were hit mainly south of Ventura Boulevard and the other for several other items recovered by another division. He added that he is not sure how common these displays are, but they are usually the most effective in returning stolen property.

Merle said the items recovered were the result of the suspects’ arrest on August 26 and anyone burglarized after that date would not have items on display.

“The items would be from burglaries prior to August 26,” he said. “I don’t know what timeframe prior—it could be one year, it could be two years or it could be three years. My guess is it’s within a couple of months of the time that we arrested them because normally suspects don’t like to hold on to items for long, but I don’t know for sure,” he added.

There will be another public display of the same items on October 26 for those unable to attend. For more information on the display, contact the Topanga Area Property Crimes Detail at 818-756-5863.

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