Reporting Juan Fernandez
GLENDALE (CBS) — A special burglary task force nabbed a ring of burglars, who police said had targeted expensive neighborhoods across Southern California.
They focused on high-end homes in affluent areas of the San Fernando Valley and are responsible for a string of burglaries, according to police.
On Tuesday the newly-formed burglary task force tracked them down to Glendale where it was believed they would strike again.
After a seven-hour manhunt, police had the men in custody.
“We are aware that they have been coming from out of town. We know exactly where they were coming from,” said Glendale Police Captain Michael Rock.
Investigators said that the men are part of a larger burglary ring tied to South L.A. gangs.
They target homes after knocking on doors and making sure no one is home.
“They check to see if someone is home, whether it’s a door knock or they ring the doorbell, they’re moving stuff so they can see within the windows, peering, if you will. And then they’re forcing entry,” said LAPD Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas.
Police laid out photos of the property that they recovered at the time of the arrests. The photos depicted watches, purses, cellphone, and electronics — just about anything that could be sold for cash and disposed of quickly.
So far the newly-formed task force has made 18 arrests.
“The message that I want to send out to the community — sometimes you’ll see us and sometimes you won’t, but we’ll always be there. The message that I want to send out to suspects — sometimes you’ll see us and sometimes you won’t, but we’ll always be there,” LAPD Lt. Alan Hamilton said.
“Our Patrol personnel are aggressive. Our detectives are very thorough and we’re going to put all of our resources into the effort to bring you to justice,” Rock said.
Police said that the task force is using good, old fashioned police work to get the job done — from going undercover to patrolling neighborhoods in squad cars to following known suspects from their homes into the areas they are targeting.