Two men have been formally charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for allegedly breaking into the home of U.S. Congresswoman and Los Angeles mayoral candidate Karen Bass and stealing two firearms.
District Attorney George Gascón announced that Patricio Munoz, 42, and Juan Espinoza, 24, were each charged with one felony count of first-degree residential burglary and two counts of grand theft of a firearm.
The two were arraigned Friday at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.
The pair are accused of breaking into Bass’s home in Baldwin Vista last Friday and stealing two handguns which Bass said were “safely and securely stored” in a lockbox. No other valuables were stolen from her home, she said.
“It’s unnerving and, unfortunately, it’s something that far too many Angelenos have faced,” Bass said in a news release shortly after the burglary happened.
Gascón said his office will “hold accountable” those responsible for breaking into the homes and stealing the firearms of law-abiding gun owners.
“Everyone deserves to be safe in their home. Residential burglary is a violation of that safety in the most fundamental way,” Gascón said.
The DA said gun thefts have been on the rise since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and many of those stolen firearms have been used in violent crimes across the county.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Bass, who currently serves in Congress representing California’s 37th congressional district, is one of two remaining candidates vying for the mayor’s office.