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Burglaries on the rise

Posted: March 18, 2009 12:54 a.m.
Updated: March 18, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Residential burglaries and vehicle theft have spiked in the Santa Clarita Valley so far this year, a sheriff’s official said Tuesday.

In the Hasley Hills neighborhood of Castaic alone, 13 homes were burglarized since Jan. 1 compared to two during the same three-month span in 2008, Harris said.

In the same area, vehicle thefts rose from 12 in the first quarter of 2008 to 22 so far this year, he said.

The reason? Access.

Areas hit hardest are those just off the Santa Clarita Valley’s two freeways, which provide easy access and easy escape.

On March 12, a couple in a white Mercedes Benz SUV hit three Fair Oaks Ranch homes between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., Harris said.

Deputies suspect the couple of a “hot prowl” break-in on Cherry Laurel Place, where the resident was home during the crime, Harris said.

“The homeowner was watching television when she heard a banging sound,” he said.

The victim refused to open the door as the suspects pounded on it, eventually breaking down the barrier. The blaring home alarm scared the suspects away, Harris said.

The suspects burglarized two other homes on Wren Drive in Fair Oaks Ranch the same night by breaking down the front door, Harris said. In those cases the residents weren’t home.

“They keep hitting the (floor) plan 1 and plan 2 homes in the development,” said John Taylor, who lives on Wren Drive in the Canyon Country neighborhood.

“The front doors of the plan 1 and plan 2 homes aren’t visible from the street,” he said.

Taylor reinforced his front door to keep burglars at bay.

He put in steel reinforcements on the door frame and installed a hotel bar. The metal beam wedges between the door and the floor and makes kicking open the front door nearly impossible, he said.

The SCV Sheriff’s Station increased patrols in the area.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested nine suspects Feb. 26 connected to similar burglaries in Palmdale. Deputies recovered stolen items from the burglary and are trying to match those items to local break-ins, Harris said.

In addition, deputies captured two suspects connected to four car thefts in Castaic on Feb. 20.

Two other suspects led deputies on a car chase that ended in Santa Paula on Jan 19. Deputies believe the suspects captured in Santa Paula had burglarized seven homes in Stevenson Ranch, Harris said.

Deputies are asking for help from the community to curb residential burglaries and vehicle thefts.

“If you see a suspicious car, call the sheriff’s deputies,” Harris said.

The two suspects from the March 12 break-ins in Fair Oaks Ranch are described as a black male, 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighing 170 pounds; and a black female, standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighing 130 pounds.

“Please don’t follow or confront the suspects,” Harris said.

Deputies are encouraging the public to keep an eye out for suspicious activity and call the Sheriff’s Station immediately at (661) 902-5517.


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