The End of Beverly Hills

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Before Christmas I was walking my dog about 7 a.m. by the tennis courts at Roxbury Park in Beverly Hills. I noticed this nice BMW stripped of its rims and tires. Never saw that before. But I never saw an armed attempted robbery at the tennis court before or a trash fire in the alley beside our house before.

Yesterday I was driving to Century City Westfield Mall. It’s close enough to walk but I drove to p/up groceries. Going up Century Park West I noticed three young men, black, with black Covid masks and black clothes, running — their arms full of large women’s handbags.

So I parked and went into Bloomingdale’s handbag section, which is right by the west-side door.

“So, you the guys that just got robbed?” I asked two security guards and a suit who were conferring together.

“I’m not free to share that with you,” the suit shared in a snotty tone.

“You don’t want a statement? I saw them, heading south.”

He didn’t care, so I went and bought groceries.

We moved to Beverly Hills seven years ago for our son’s middle and high school. So he could walk to school safely and have as normal a ‘small town’ life as possible. BH was good for that. As teens the kids could sit on the swings, walk over to Beverly for a burger or yogurt or pizza. We never worried about him.

Then we had the riots two summers ago and things started to slip. You’ve read about the murder at Javier’s in the mall. The shooting at Pastaio (which we love but won’t go anymore). The regular looting on Rodeo, the broken glass. We were invited to an event at a Rodeo Drive store. Guests go in the back, because Rodeo Drive is no longer safe.

I’m not going to list all the incidents. It’s long. If you have the Citizen app it’s really long. We pay what we pay to live in Beverly Hills because it was safe, quiet, beautiful. Not anymore. I’m not going to slam the BH police. My opinion is that they have been told to stand down and they have. That’s between them and their conscience.

My other opinion is that because the police did nothing during the riots, the bad guys are emboldened to just show up and take whatever they wanted without fear of consequence. Just wait until the subway opens. The other thing I can tell you is that there is more bad stuff than is reported. The merchants have their own network to pass information.

Beverly Hills is over. Our son is in university now so we can move. To where I don’t know, the rest of L.A. is probably worse, but at least it’s cheaper. And we are certainly not moving to Santa Monica. So if you want to shop on Rodeo or eat in a nice restaurant, keep your wits about you. Don’t wear jewels and dress down. Good luck.

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Brad Chisholm

Brad Chisholm

Brad Chisholm’s novels include K-Town Confidential (2018), Kat & Maus (2018) and Dash & Laila (2020). He is published by Black Rose Writing.