Long Beach's Anaheim Street heightens security with new cameras

Long Beach's Anaheim Street heightens security with new cameras

By Karen Robes Meeks

November 20, 2012 3:34 AM


LONG BEACH - Ten weeks ago, the newly installed security cameras along Anaheim Street would have likely caught the man who stole from Tyler Barnes' Ace Hardware store.

After the thief cut through the stucco wall, he proceeded to box and bag about $15,000 worth of power tools, expensive copper fittings and other inventory. He even helped himself to some soda, Barnes said.

Even with 12 cameras throughout his property at 2720 E. Anaheim St., Barnes couldn't see the getaway vehicle parked in the lot next door because his cameras didn't cover it.

"If the (new) cameras had been installed at that time, we probably would have gotten his license plate, a vehicle description, and I think this guy would have been off the streets," the 25-year business owner said Monday. "But at this point, he's probably planning another burglary somewhere."

Barnes joined fellow business owners and Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell on Monday for the debut of the new police cameras along Anaheim Street.

The cameras at Redondo and Temple avenues are the first of many that are to be installed at nearly a dozen intersections along the corridor in the coming years to add to public safety and help police, said Rod Wilson, president of the East Anaheim Street Business Alliance.

"That's a tremendous asset from an officer safety standpoint and to be able to apprehend and later prosecute those that are committing the crimes," said McDonnell. "So we want to send a message very clear that this neighborhood is taking it seriously and that we have the tools in place to be able to work together and more effectively combat not only crime, but quality-of-life issues."

The closed-circuit cameras were fully funded by the alliance, which recently formed a business improvement district to help businesses pay for services and programs specifically for the nearly 600 businesses in an area bounded by Junipero Avenue to the west, Pacific Coast Highway to the east, 10th Street to the south and 14th Street to the north.

By forming a business improvement district, which self-imposes a fee of about $300 a year on businesses, merchants have been able to pay for marketing and promotions such as a study of the area's historical roots as the Zaferia District, banners promoting the area and the security cameras.

Barnes said the cameras will help improve security not only at his businesses, but also in the neighborhood.

"This is going to be a deterrent to crime once people realize we have cameras," he said. "And for people who don't know we have cameras, we're going to catch a lot of criminals."