SPPD: Woman, children encounter
probable burglar in their home

February 25, 2015
Santa Paula News

A Santa Paula family found a probable burglar in their home early Thursday morning that had entered through an unlocked door, but when the intruder saw the occupants he beat a hasty retreat.

According to Santa Paula Police Acting Sgt. Dan Potter, the February 19 incident was reported at 6:30 a.m. and officers were dispatched to a residence on the 500 block of Munger Drive, on the city’s Westside, “in regards to a prowler… ”

When officers arrived at the residence the 35-year-old resident told them earlier she heard, “Knocking and the doorbell ringing,” but the woman did not go to the door.

But a few minutes later when she exited a bedroom she saw a tall Hispanic male in her house that had already encountered her two children.

“He was in the house, saw the kids, started walking in the opposite direction, saw the mother and ran out the door,” said Potter.

No one was injured during the encounter and nothing was taken from the residence.

Potter said the front door where the man had entered had not been locked, “He had knocked and rang the doorbell,” and since no one answered, “he thought no one was home… he tried the door and found it was unlocked, went in, found there were people home and didn’t want complications so he took off.”

Potter urged residents to never leave doors and windows unlocked, “Always keep your doors locked… even if you’re home. And if you’re still home in the morning keep lights on,” and it’s a good idea to get motion sensors for things that move at night.

“If you see anyone in the neighborhood that looks suspicious warn your neighbors and call the police…. they might be casing the area.”

Burglars don’t look like those in cartoons wearing caps and eye masks: Potter said they often  dress in a suit or as a service provider, carry business cards or even pamphlets as they go door-to-door seeing who is home or — better yet — out.

They confirm the house’s emptiness by knocking on the door and ringing the doorbell before they make entry… preferably through an unlocked door.

“That’s the biggest problem — residents not locking the doors front and back… burglars don’t want to go to the trouble of breaking in, they like places that are open,” said Potter.

Potter said it’s also a good idea to make sure your valuables are secured.

If you suspect or have information about criminal activity call the Santa Paula Police Department, 525-4474.

If you would prefer to remain anonymous, call the SPPD recorded Tip Hotline, 933-5691 or email tips to tipline@spcity.org

Call 911 if there is an emergency. 

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