By Mary O’KEEFE
Anyone attempting to get on the La Crescenta Avenue onramp of the 210 Freeway in the morning of Nov. 5 found it nearly impossible. This was because the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept.-Crescenta Valley Station conducted a traffic stop that ended in the arrest of three burglary suspects.
It all began in the 2700 block of Pinelawn Drive in La Crescenta when a resident reported hearing voices coming from her front yard. One of the suspects was in her yard, and she reported seeing another suspect sitting in a white truck that was parked in front of her home. The resident spoke to the man in her yard, who allegedly told her he was trimming trees in the neighborhood and needed access to her backyard.
She walked with the man to her backyard.
“She became suspicious when he [seemed] to be detaining her,” said Det. Rodger Burt.
She left the man and went into her home only to find two other men in her master bedroom. A dresser drawer where she kept her jewelry was open. Once discovered, the men fled the area.
The CV Sheriff’s Station was called and descriptions were given of the white truck with possible Nevada paper license plates and of the men. Soon a patrol deputy reported that he had seen the truck traveling southbound on La Crescenta Avenue toward the Foothill (210) freeway eastbound entrance. The truck in question entered the on-ramp of the 210 but was pulled over as the patrol unit approached. The deputy detained the three men, who matched the description of the burglary suspects, at gunpoint.
Detectives and deputies found several tools often used in burglaries inside the suspects’ vehicle. The items included baseball caps, gloves, walkie-talkies, screwdrivers and miscellaneous construction items along with pawn receipts. Possible stolen property was also located in the vehicle including foreign currency and jewelry.
“There were some [similar burglaries] in Glendale that these [suspects] may be responsible for,” Burt said.
Law enforcement reminds residents that this type of burglary is common in the area.
“What (suspects) do is contact the homeowner and say they are tree trimming. They get [the homeowner] to take them into backyard. And while that person is being distracted other suspects go into the home and [as in this case] steal jewelry,” Burt said.
It is important to ask for identification and if it appears to be suspicious call local law enforcement, Burt added.
The 24-year-old and 51-year-old male suspects are from Hollywood. The third suspect is a 55-year-old Los Angeles man. One of the suspects is being held on a $1million bail; the other two are being held on $500,000 bail each.