As Violent Crime in L.A. Rises, Demand for Private Security Among the Wealthy Soars

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The rich and famous in Los Angeles are increasingly relying on private security to help protect their families and their homes amid rising violent crime in the Los Angeles area, security professionals say. “We’ve been getting calls left and right from Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Woodland Hills — all these nice high-premiere areas, nice neighborhoods. Individuals that say, ‘Can I get a security guard to stay overnight from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. just to make sure they’re parked in my driveway in a marked vehicle to deter trespassers and burglars?’” Ray Nomair, CEO of Los Angeles-based OnGuard Inc., told TheWrap. Nomair noted his security agency has been busier than usual following a spate of well-publicized home invasion robberies and burglaries in recent months, including the shocking murder of Jacqueline Avant, the wife of music mogul Clarence Avant and a pillar of the Los Angeles philanthropic community who was gunned down by an intruder in her Beverly Hills home last month.

A string of celebrities have become victims of home invasions. The Hidden Hills home of “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, was broken into earlier this month while the couple was away, with a million dollars in jewelry reportedly taken. “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Dorit Kemsley was held up at gunpoint and robbed at her Encino home in October 2021. And hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre’s Brentwood home was targeted in an attempted burglary in January 2021, while the rapper was hospitalized. Because the whereabouts of celebrities and influencers are often publicized in tabloids and on social media, they and their property can be at greater risk, security experts say. With high-profile crimes making national headlines, Nomair said he’s seeing more people hire private security to protect their homes while they’re out of town. OnGuard offers both armed and unarmed guards as well as marked vehicle patrols. “A couple has gone on vacation for four months. One of our guards is literally house-sitting in Beverly Hills,” he said.

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