LA CANADA (   —  Residents of La Canada beset by a recent rash of burglaries are probably wondering why their dogs didn’t spring into action to thwart the crimes.

One resident came home and stumbled upon what was likely a burglary in progress.

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The burglars apparently were smart and cunning enough to take food out of the fridge to placate the pooches.

Merrill Lam told KCAL9’s Rachel Kim that when she came home on Tuesday from a brief morning walk, it was unusual that her dogs Oscar and Molly were not barking.

They usually bark when she pulls into the driveway and greet her at the door when she walks in.

“I heard a big thump like someone fell or something fell over. I’m like OK, one dog here, one dog there, noise came from there, there’s somebody in the house.”

Lam immediately called her husband and stayed on the phone with him as she checked around the house. She went to the master bedroom first.

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“It was completely ransacked. So, I just ran out of the house, I screamed, I’m calling the police,” she told Kim.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived, cleared the house and found the burglars had broken in through a window.

Lam believes they slipped out while she came in to use the phone. Five rooms were ransacked and $35,000 worth of jewelry, purses and electronics like iPods and iPads were stolen. But left behind: an empty plasticware container in the master bedroom.

“So, they just went in my refrigerator, took out last night’s dinner, which was literally leftovers from the night before, and fed the dogs to keep them quiet,” she said.

Although she feels robbed of her sense of security, Merrill is happy her family wasn’t hurt.

“Everybody being safe is really what’s most important to me,” she said.

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The Sheriff’s Department is asking residents to call (818) 248-3464 to report any suspicious activity.