Southern California home targeted by armed burglars twice in one week

A Granada Hills family who was targeted in a “dinnertime burglary” was victimized again Tuesday night, marking the second time burglars have ransacked their home in less than a week.

Located in the Greyhawk Ranch community, the home was burglarized on Nov. 29 when thieves escaped with around $150,000 worth of valuables.

The victim, only identified as David, had returned from Christmas shopping with his wife and their newborn baby when he spotted the thieves leaving his house with a stockpile of stolen items.

He chased them down in his car and rammed their vehicle to prevent them from fleeing the neighborhood. The burglars eventually escaped in their damaged vehicle.

However, just days later, a group of intruders, possibly the same ones who previously ransacked his home, broke into his residence once again.

The home, currently undergoing renovation and upgrading, sits along Wood Ranch Road. The victim and his family are fearful for their safety.

“I’m imagining if we were home, what would’ve happened,” David said. “I have a newborn baby. They went into [the baby’s] room. They broke ornaments, they broke drawers. I don’t understand why L.A. became like this.”

Following the two break-ins at their home, David said his wife is deeply traumatized by the incident.

Their neighbor’s camera captured part of the first break-in on Nov. 29. The group of hooded burglars is seen ransacking the home’s interior before hopping into a getaway car. 

Security video captured the tense confrontation playing out on the street. After David damaged their suspects’ vehicle, he followed them down the street where they began shooting at his car.

They eventually escaped with around $150,000 of valuable items. 

A few nights later at around 7:30 p.m., three armed intruders shattered a glass door and entered David’s home for the second time. But a piercing alarm scared them off.

“We had nothing in the house,” David said. “I don’t know why they came back with a gun. But they got inside the house and then they ran away.”

L.A. Mayor Karen Bass and L.A. Police officials said data shows that violent crime is down citywide in 2023. However, the victims reporters have spoken with said they disagree.

crime mapping website shows that over the past eight days in Granada Hills, 547 crimes were reported in the community and surrounding areas.

The incidents include everything from car thefts and assaults to home burglaries and more. Residents in the area told reporters they are fed up with the increasing crime and worried for their safety.

On Dec. 2, another Granada Hills homeowner shot and killed an intruder when three to four armed men entered the home on the 11400 block of Swinton Avenue

Back in November, another Granada Hills homeowner was seen armed with a gun while chasing a group of burglars off his property.

“It’s unsafe for everyone,” David said. “All of our neighbors are in shock. Everyone is putting in more security. They’re worried.”

The “dinnertime burglaries” have been reportedly plaguing the San Fernando Valley where intruders would break into homes between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. — a time when people are believed to be out to dinner.

A Woodland Hills home was also targeted around the same time. The victims returned home to find their back door smashed in, security cameras ripped out of the walls and every room completely ransacked. Their valuable jewelry and personal items were all gone.

“It’s insane,” said Maria Turley, a local resident. “We’re not safe anymore. We’re a quiet little community. I’ve been here for 28 years. This doesn’t happen, but it’s become normal now.”

“We need to be doing more about hiring police officers and getting more officers out on the streets,” said L.A. City Councilmember John Lee, who represents the area.

Lee said at the moment, the LAPD is short around 1,200 officers, the equivalent of about four police divisions.

“In January, we will be launching a community safety initiative that will utilize technology to not only help us catch the criminals, but to recognize patterns so that we stop some of these thefts before they happen,” he said.

Despite the mayor and LAPD saying crime reports have been down, Lee said in the communities surrounding Granada Hills, home break-ins have increased by 100 percent since the year before.

“We are getting so many incidents recently,” David said.

Victims said thieves are often seen in high-end luxury vehicles and operate in groups of three or four people. They often use walkie-talkies or cell phones to communicate quickly. The encounters are also often violent.

The series of break-ins remains under investigation.

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