Authorities announced a breakthrough in a string of burglaries, according to Los Angeles Police Rampart Division, which oversees several neighborhoods in Westlake, Silverlake, and Echo Park.
Police announced the arrest of four suspects at a news conference Wednesday, but said there could be more victims out there.
Detectives said the suspects terrorized their own neighbors, living in the same neighborhood as their victims.
Investigators said nineteen separate incidents taking place throughout August, September, and October led to the arrests of the four individuals on Oct. 17.
Francisco Hernandez and Abelardo Camacho are accused of stealing the items, and a father and son pair — Samuel and Ruben Ruiz — allegedly pawned the stolen goods.
Detectives said the burglaries took place primarily near Rampart Boulevard and Benton Way.
The burglars would strike in the early hours of the day, cutting screens and reaching into windows. They reportedly stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of electronics, money, and jewelry, and were also illegally harboring six handguns.
Police said the area was targeted because many of the residences were older, without surveillance systems. However, due to the residents reporting the incidents, along with evidence such as fingerprints and footprints and pawn shop tracking, detectives were able to make arrests.
“Based on the amount of evidence we recovered, it is our belief that we have additional victims out there,” Capt. Alfonso Lopez with LAPD said at a news conference.
“It’s terrible. It’s scary. Like, don’t want to go to sleep sometimes,” Alexandra Jonas, one of the victims, said.
Police said there could be as many as a dozen other unreported burglaries with which these suspects were involved.
If you would like to speak to police about this case, you can call or contact the LAPD Rampart Division online.