VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — An elderly Chatsworth man faced felony robbery and burglary charges Wednesday for allegedly impersonating an officer in an attempted San Fernando Valley home invasion.
Ronald Snyder, 75, was arrested after sheriff’s deputies from Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station responded to a possible “burglary in progress” on July 14 at 9:30 a.m. in a gated community along the 24600 block of Long Valley Road in Hidden Hills, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
When deputies arrived, they saw a female, later identified as the victim, in the doorway crying. Standing in front of the victim with his back to the deputies, was a male adult who deputies later identified as Snyder.
As he attempted to push the victim inside the house, deputies approached them and saw a handgun in Snyder’s waistband. As Snyder attempted to draw the handgun from his waistband, deputies quickly brought him under control and arrested him without further incident, according to Sheriff’s officials.
The victim told investigators Snyder came to her door and identified himself as a member of the Sheriff’s Department. Snyder forced his way into the victim’s house, pointed a gun at her head and said he was there to rob her. The victim convinced Snyder there was nothing of value inside the house.
While this was occurring, the victim’s son told authorities he heard his mother scream. He quietly listened to the conversation between the victim and Snyder while simultaneously dialing 911.
During a search of Snyder’s car, deputies discovered false law enforcement identification, handcuffs, a wig, gloves, rope, and two handguns, including one with a silencer, Sheriff’s officials said.
In handling the investigation, Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Detectives executed a search warrant on Snyder’s Chatsworth home as well as his business, recovering additional evidence and numerous firearms.
Detectives said they were also able to link Snyder to another home burglary that occurred in Hidden Hills.
Investigators believe the alleged motive for the crimes was a recent significant financial downturn for Snyder, who was able to gain access to the gated community because he owned a home there until recently, authorities said.
Snyder was arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court for numerous felonies, including Robbery, Burglary, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, and Impersonating a Peace Officer.
Ronald Snyder is currently being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
Detectives are asking that if anyone has information regarding this suspect or incident, please contact Malibu / Lost Hills Sheriff’s Detective Solomon at (818) 878-5542. To make an anonymous tip, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website LACrimeStoppers.org.