LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A communal sigh of relief could be felt from the Shadow Hills and Sunland-Tujunga neighborhoods on Thursday, following the arrest of the man dubbed the “Shadow Hills Prowler” on Wednesday evening. The two neighborhoods were targeted areas in a string of armed robberies over the last two months.
Dating back to late-October, residents in the area have been terrorized by Benjamin Renteria, the prowler, who was finally caught after a three-day manhunt. He was tracked down in some dense brush by a K9 unit, where he was apprehended.READ MORE: Hollywood Christmas Parade Makes Triumphant Return To Streets of LA
For longtime residents, the newfound strain on every day life was unsettling. Shadow Hills resident Camille Caiozzo, who witnessed the man walk by her home armed, said, “It’s been very, very frightening. The past two nights in particular, with the helicopters… it’s just been amazing the amount of activity.”
Even with the string of robberies, some residents didn’t understand the degree of danger and gravity of the situation, until they saw Renteria on multiple security cameras, armed and looking for his next victims. Authorities suggest that the weapons he was seen with, often an assault rifle or hunting rifle, were also stolen.
Ronnie Uppal, another Shadow Hills resident, said, “I didn’t really understand the seriousness of it until I actually saw the Ring video… and it was very scary, because he was carrying a rifle.”READ MORE: BTS Kicks Off Second Of 4 Shows At SoFi Stadium In Inglewood
Even so, Uppal was still diligent in her security measures locking doors and windows, turning on all her outdoor lights and activating her security system.
The prowler’s presence caused an increase in caution in regards to home safety for some residents, who will continue sticking with their methods in the future.
With Renteria’s arrest, residents of the equestrian-friendly neighborhood now report a sense of peace in their neighborhoods following months of unease. They are once again able to go about their daily activities without worry, including taking their horses out for daily rides. “The fact that I can go out and ride without concern is great,” said Caiozzo.MORE NEWS: Alhambra Ice-Cream Shop Victim Of Smash-And-Grab Burglary Early Saturday Morning
Renteria, who is now being held on $240,000 bail, was also arrested on multiple occasions in 2020 by Burbank Police – for residential burglary and breaking into storage units at a storage facility.