A crew of burglars appears to have targeted La Cañada Flintridge last week, breaking into six residences on Friday, Dec. 16, according to reports from the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.
“I think it’s one crew hitting a whole lot of people in the same area,” said Detective Alan Chu of the spate of break-ins, most of which were reported in southern LCF. “That’s just my opinion, but all of a sudden we had a whole cluster of them in the same area, and in just one night.”
Chu said personnel from the CV Station are scouring surveillance footage and working with law enforcement agencies in Pasadena and Glendale to locate the suspects. But, he said, they don’t yet have any concrete leads.
“We have very little to go on,” Chu said. “These guys are getting smarter, they’re [wearing] hoods and are pretty much gloved up, so there’s not a lot to go on.”
The only description following Friday’s spate of burglaries was that the suspects appeared to be driving a sports car, Chu said.
That detail was provided by the residents of a break-in in the 450 block of Daleridge Road, where the homeowner, who was awakened by his barking dog, got out of bed and saw flashlight beams coming from his kitchen area.
When the homeowner yelled to his wife, he saw the light turn off and heard footsteps running away. He then reported seeing a dark-colored sports car leaving.
Chu said the alleged burglars in this case didn’t seem to be targeting electronics, as often happens. Instead they seemed to be looking for jewelry, which he said can be easily pawned or melted and sold. They didn’t, however, find jewelry in several of the homes they entered and left, in some cases, without taking anything.
“This crew seemed like they’re hitting where they can grab things quickly,” Chu said.
He said some of these burglaries also occurred not during the day when residents are at work, but during the late-afternoon or evening hours.
“The time of day is also a little different,” he said. “We’re a little concerned about that. So be aware. Pay attention to what’s going on in the neighborhood. I think they’re doing knocks on the front door before they come to the backyard … and try to open the back door.”
Chu suggested residents set their alarms at night while they’re asleep. He also asked for people to “trust their alarms systems.”
“We’ll come and check it out. If it’s nothing, no big deal,” he said. “We want to catch these guys, and it doesn’t help if you have an alarm and do everything right and don’t call us.”
After reporting that there were only four residential burglaries in LCF during all of November, Lt. Marjorie Jacobs told the City Council on Tuesday that deputies have increased their presence in the area during the later hours of the day since Friday. That’s an extension of their regular holiday season increase of patrols in town, she said.
“We want to remind the residents, this is the time for people to be on vacation, so we’re hoping they reach out to their neighbors and ask them to pick up newspapers and their mail,” Jacobs said. “More importantly, let the station know that they’re going to be on vacation so we can do extra patrols. We’ll do drive-bys and make sure vacant homes [are monitored].”
She also suggested other deterrents, including leaving lights on inside and leaving a car parked in the driveway.
For information or to report suspicious activity, call the CV Sheriff’s station at (818) 248-3464.