LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – A Los Angeles resident trying to get rid of unwanted pests in her home ended up being a victim of a burglary.
Surveillance video shows a burglar stealing valuables as the house was being fumigated. It’s the second time in a week burglars have targeted LA-area homes being fumigated.
The homeowner says she is extremely upset and feels violated, but she is thankful no one was home at the time of the break-in, and that her family is safe.
“It’s actually been a little bit of a nightmare,” said Alexis Gilliam-Lerner. “They cut the screen, cut the tent, came into my home, and they were just in my home taking things from me.”
Gilliam-Lerner says the suspect made entry from the backyard. She’s not exactly sure how he got back there, but she does believe she knows how he got inside.
“This window was open a little bit,” she said. “They needed to get the tubes out from the fumigation and he opened the rest of the window. You can see his handprints and fingerprints over there, that are white.”
From there, he climbed through the window and stole thousands of dollars worth of belongings including jewelry, shoes, handbags, and her son’s baseball collectibles, she says.
“So many of us work really hard for the things we provide for our kids and it’s not lost on me, I know that we are safe,” she said. “I’m glad we weren’t home, but at the end of the day, things that I’ve loved for very, very long are missing and they’re gone and I’m never going to get them back. “
In the last week, the LAPD was made aware of a second home in Venice that was burglarized while it was being fumigated, according to Detective Robin Salazar of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Community Division, who is working the case. The detective says this type of crime is not very common, because of how dangerous it can be.
Other attempts to burglarize homes being fumigated have resulted in the suspects passing out, or, in one case from years ago, the suspect dying. That’s likely why the suspect in the latest case was wearing a mask.
An employee from the fumigation company told Nexstar’s KTLA that because the incident took place in the state of California, the homeowner is liable for any damages and stolen property from the break-in.
Detective Salazar says it’s too early to release a description of the suspect and too early to know if both incidents with the fumigated homes are connected.