Kids Interrupt Burglary, Chase Intruders

La Cañada Flintridge resident John Akopyan said burglars took cash and watches from his home. He and his wife were away from the residence, but security cameras captured much of the incident.

A La Cañada Flintridge resident said his three children chased off a group of burglars last weekend after they found the intruders at their house.

John Akopyan said his daughters, ages 18 and 15, and his son, 7, arrived at their home in the 700 block of Forest Green Drive at about 9 p.m. on Saturday and saw three people running around the interior of the residence. As the children shouted at them, the three burglars got into a car driven by a fourth person and fled, Akopyan said.

The children then briefly pursued the burglars in their own vehicle, the father added.

“I don’t know why they decided to do that, but you know what? I’m glad they did,” he said, adding that all three of his children were unharmed.

Video taken by one of them shows part of the chase, with the children audibly upset. One expresses a concern that the burglars could be armed, and asks the driver to stop the pursuit. The three are soon heard stopping to speak with someone — ostensibly a neighbor — who asks if they’re OK.

“I feel like throwing up,” one of them is heard saying.

The children were able to get the license plate number of the fleeing vehicle, a 2021 white Nissan Versa, Akopyan said. But the resident, who explained that he used to run background checks for work, said the plate appears to belong to a rental car.

Security footage shows three burglars breaking into the house by shattering the glass on the rear door on Saturday, ransacking many of the rooms. When the owner’s children returned to the home at about 9 p.m., the intruders ran.

None of the burglars were arrested as of Wednesday morning, according to Lt. Tri Hoang of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He confirmed that the burglary occurred and that the children interrupted the crime, but said he could provide few details because the investigation remains in its early stages.

The children were returning from visiting Akopyan’s in-laws, he said, while he and his wife were away for an anniversary party. He added that security footage shows a vehicle he believes the burglars were driving passed the house shortly before he and his wife left.

A local man said his three kids interrupted a burglary at his house on Saturday, briefly pursuing the burglars’ vehicle in their own.

Akopyan said the burglars entered his locked house after breaking a window on the back door. They took cash and several of his watches, he added, and ransacked several of the rooms. Security footage provided by Akopyan shows the burglars breaking in through the window and running through the building. They later exit through a side door; one of the children can be heard yelling at them a few seconds later.

“As long as my kids are OK, I don’t care,” Akopyan said of the burglary.

Several other houses nearby have been burglarized recently, he added. Akopyan plans to request a permit from the city to build a fence around his property.