3 Arrested During Home Invasion After Suspect Unwittingly Answers Front Door For Responding LAPD Officer
PACOIMA (CBSLA.com) — Three suspects were arrested Monday after a woman, who was home alone with her baby and was being terrorized during a home-invasion robbery, dialed 911.
The mother woke up around 9 a.m. when a sound at a side window of her home in the 8100 block of Wakefield Avenue made her realize something was amiss, according to Los Angeles Police Lt. Paul Vernon. She soon discovered a man pacing in her front yard and asked him through a window what he wanted.
The man replied that he was looking for someone named Omar, when the woman heard a noise from the back of her home and realized two masked men had entered through a window. The masked men pushed over a dresser and demanded cash, telling her that they knew she had money, according to Vernon.
One of the men carried a firearm and continued to demand money after the woman pleaded not to hurt her because she had a baby, Vernon said.
She showed the men to some money, that she had received as part of a recent court settlement, when they were interrupted by a knock at the front door.
Assuming the knock was from their accomplice in the front yard, one of the masked men opened the door, only to discover an LAPD officer who was responding to a 911 call the woman had made after originally finding the man in her front yard.
“The masked robber got a surprise when it was a uniformed LAPD officer (at the door) who had answered the 911 call,” Lt. Vernon said, taking note that the man in the front yard had already been taken into custody.
The robber proceeded to slam the door, and he and the other suspect fled the home.
“We’re lucky there wasn’t a shooting right there, given this man was armed,” Lt. Vernon suggested. “The robber and his partner jumped out a back window, and the chase was on.”
With the aid of a helicopter crew, police tracked the suspects to a CVS store located at Van Nuys and Roscoe boulevards, where they surrendered.
Police found a gun at the woman’s home, which had reportedly been dropped or tossed in a closet by one of the suspects, according to Lt. Vernon, who also suggested that the robbery was not a random crime, since the suspects stated that they knew the woman had recently received money in a court settlement.
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