HARBOR GATEWAY (CBSLA.com) – Officers donning hazmat gear and rifles entered a tented home that was undergoing fumigation in the Harbor Gateway neighborhood early Friday morning searching for burglary suspects who may be holed up inside, but found it empty.
One suspect had been arrested in the case, but two more remain at large.
According to Los Angeles police, a man called 911 at about 4:30 a.m. to report burglars breaking into his home in the 14300 block of Ainsworth Street. The home was in the process of being fumigated for termites and the resident claimed he watched the break-in on a security camera feed.
Responding officers located one suspect outside the home who was captured after a foot chase.
Police believed there may be two suspects still inside in the residence. Officers set up a perimeter and called in a hazmat team to help clear the house. However, sometime before 7:20 a.m., officers entered the home and found it empty. The two suspects remain at large.
The burglars appeared to have planned for the toxic gas. Surveillance video obtained by CBS2 showed one of the burglars wearing a mask.
They carried several loads outside the home before fleeing.
“When we looked on the side, most of his shoes were on the side, the TV, the stereo,” said Jayson Bugayong, the homeowner’s brother. “It was ready to just throw over the fence.”
Family members of the homeowner told CBS2 that everything inside the home was in boxes because the homeowner is in the process of moving. They said someone broke in Thursday, but stole nothing. On Friday morning, security cameras sent an app alert to the family that a break-in had occurred again.
“He (the homeowner) told me mom, there’s people inside the house, there are three,” said Amy Bugayong, the homeowner’s mother.
The family also found a crowbar on their property that does not belong to them.
Officials told CBS2 they have they’ve seen a rash of burglaries targeting fumigated homes.