I wrote a similar tip about this months ago but it’s worth repeating since the problem appears to be worsening. My original tip was not to wear expensive watches, flashy jewelry or carry shopping bags from high end stores as thieves are targeting those who do. Those all still hold true but now, those driving high-end vehicles are also becoming targets of crime.

According to the Los Angeles Times: “More than a dozen Los Angeles gangs are targeting some of the city’s wealthiest residents in a new and aggressive manner, sending out crews in multiple cars to find, follow and rob people driving high-end vehicles or wearing expensive jewelry, according to police. In some cases, police say, suspects have been arrested but then released from custody, only to commit additional robberies. According to Capt. Jonathan Tippet, who spearheads a Los Angeles Police Department task force investigating these crimes, police have identified at least 17 gangs, most based out of South L.A. and operating independently, that are involved. There were 165 such robberies in 2021 and 56 so far this year, he said, including several over the weekend.”

Here’s a disturbing video of an incident that just happened this week. Robbers followed a woman walking wearing a Rolex and hit her with their car in order to get it. It’s insane.

What can travelers do about it?

  1. If you get approached, don’t fight back and just give them what they want. These people are ruthless, have no respect for human life and more than likely carrying guns.
  2. If you’re shopping in high-end stores and don’t want to do it online, then just have the goods shipped to your house instead of carrying them out.
  3. Don’t wear expensive watches, flashy jewelry or carry designer handbags.
  4. Don’t rent a luxury car.
  5. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and if you think someone is following you, either on foot or by car, call 911.



3 Comments On "Violent Crime Targeting Wealthy Increasing in California and Beyond - Here’s How Travelers Can Protect Themselves"
  1. Shopaddict88|

    Johnny, That video of the lady getting struck down by a car is very strange, it looks like she was running erratically before and the guy in the hoodie appears to be with her?

  2. Viet Nam era veteran|

    Ref “If you get approached, don’t fight back and just give them what they want.***”, I totally DISagree. This is a big problem with law abetting society of, don’t fight back; act like a sheep; hope & pray that the scum bag does not rob you THEN shoots you. Here is southern California counties, the lousy sheriffs will NOT issue CCW Permits ( carry concealed weapon ) based solely upon the basis of self-protection. In the 1960s when I was drafted, I went through boot camp when I was 19 y.o., taught how to handle a weapon as well as hand-to-hand combat, and ( literally ) within 3 months, you’re fighting in the jungle in Viet Nam. I don’t understand why, especially veterans, can not automatically be issued a CCW permits providing you are allowed to possess a firearm w/in CA. 24 out of 50 states are now either Constitutional carry or shall-be- issued a CCW Permit basis, but California – oh no. The catch phrase in the CA Penal Code is *may* issue rather than SHALL issue. Dial 911, let the police handle it. Believe me, in a spontaneous tactical 5-second situation, the police can not defend you. You have a RIGHT to defend yourself, defend your family, & defend your home. 99% of the time, once a crook confronts an armed & shooting citizen, that crook will disengage & run. S/he does not want to get into a fire fight; s/he just wants your property. Well, I have said my peace. I have never been robbed, but in ‘Nam we were trained to not take prisoners.

  3. Thomas|

    Sounds like a plan. Defend yourself, your family, and your home.

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