Bay Area car burglars travel down the coast to snatch belongings from Los Angeles tourists, police say

The thefts began multiplying in the last year: Crooks smashed windows or entered unlocked doors to swipe luggage, shopping bags and other valuables from cars parked at tourist destinations across Los Angeles’ Westside.

As investigators chased leads, they noticed striking similarities in the heists: The suspects were Bay Area gang members traveling in rental cars to Southern California to commit crimes against unsuspecting tourists at shopping centers, museums and other high-traffic areas.