BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.—Beverly Hills is adding more police and security officers to its streets amid a spike in crime that has residents on edge.
Five new officers are joining the Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) on Dec. 6, and the city will be deploying additional armed, private Covered-Six security officers for street patrols.
Beverly Hills and Los Angeles have seen an uptick in violent crimes of late, including a rash of smash-and-grab retail robberies and a concurrent wave of so-called “follow-home” robberies, in which criminals target people with high-end merchandise, sometimes following them to their homes.
Beverly Hills was rocked by the Dec. 1 death of Jacqueline Avant, wife of music executive Clarence Avant. She was killed during an apparent break-in at the couple’s Trousdale Estates home.
Aariel Maynor, a 29-year-old Los Angeles man, was arrested on suspicion of killing Avant following an unrelated burglary in the 6000 block of Graciosa Drive in the Hollywood Hills, committed roughly an hour after Avant’s shooting, according to BHPD Chief Mark Stainbrook.
The chief said last week that the suspect is on parole and has an “extensive” criminal record, which bars him from possessing a weapon.
According to court records, Maynor pleaded no contest to a domestic violence charge in July of 2013 and was placed on probation, but later that year, he pleaded no contest to a robbery charge and was sentenced to five years in prison. He also has a grand theft conviction from 2010 on record.
Stainbrook, who was sworn in on Nov. 30, told CBS2 that he thinks crime is on the rise in part because criminals are increasingly being turned loose without serving time behind bars.
“Literally, we’re arresting the same people again and again and letting them right out to commit more crime,” he said. “So if you look at Mrs. Avant’s case, that individual has a lengthy criminal history. He was out on parole and he was out committing crime. He should never have ever been out in the first place.”
The BHPD is also recruiting “lateral and pre-service police officers.” Interested candidates can visit JoinBHPD.org.