Manhattan Beach Sees Crime Spike

The extra locks on Fred Stanger's door are not the only protection he's added in his home.

"My gun is in my garage in a spot I can take into the house every night now," he said.

The Manhattan Beach resident was the victim of a brazen Thanksgiving week robbery when four intruders robbed him and beat him with his own gun.

"I still got a chipped tooth from the gun they stuck in my mouth," he said. "And my ear's still swollen. They stuck the gun in my ear."

Stanger is not surprised that burglaries in the city jumped 16 percent in January in his normally quiet beach community.

The chief of police blames the spike on recently passed sentencing laws she claims has put more criminals on the street.

Manhattan Beach Police Chief Eve Irvine said officers arrested 55 people who had just been released early under a state plan to reduce prison overcrowding.

"Several of them, we saw multiple arrests in the city," he said.

Irvine blames the initiative on pushing up crime in the city.

Also a factor, she said, is Proposition 47, which knocks some felonies down to misdemeanors.

Her message to residents: "Lock and up and secure your property even when you're in your home."

Stanger had his own message: "When you leave your house at night, leave your lights on and leave your blinds open. Before you enter the house make sure the blinds are still open and the lights are still on."

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