Police imposters robbed a woman at her home on The Strand in Hermosa Beach shortly after midnight Thursday evening while a neighbor’s house was simultaneously burglarized, authorities said.
The woman awoke about 12:05 a.m. to the sound of two men, both dressed in black clothing, in her bedroom, according to a news release from the Hermosa Beach Police Department.
“They were shining flashlights in my eyes,” the unidentified victim told KTLA. “You never know what’s going to happen when somebody gets scared.”
The intruders told her they were police officers, but rebuffed her when she asked for their identification, the statement said.
“I screamed and he said, ‘Don’t scream. don’t do anything. I’ll shoot you,'” the woman said.
The robbers forced the victim to accompany them as they searched the residence for valuables, then ordered her “to disrobe and forced her into a bathroom while they made their escape,” police said. “It appears the suspects were scared off by a neighbor’s burglar alarm sounding.”
Jewelry and cash were taken in the home-invasion, which may have been connected to a nearby burglary, according to investigators. Both crimes occurred in the 2800 block of The Strand.
In the latter incident, a person or persons broke into an unoccupied home whose power had been turned off, the news release said, adding that the lack of electricity “may account for the burglary alarm delay which allowed that suspect to ransack that location.”
The amount of possibly stolen property was unknown.
A witness told investigators that a man wearing all black clothing exited the home and fled about the time the alarm sounded.
The two break-ins were possibly connected to yet two other burglaries that took place “sometime in the days prior” to Friday in the 1900 block of The Strand, the police statement said. The homes were ransacked in the earlier thefts, and among the stolen property were personal items, jewelry and a safe.
“I’m going to have to change my life,” said victim of the home invasion. “I just encourage everybody who lives along here to just be really careful.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Dorothy Scheid of the Hermosa Beach Police Department by phone at 310-318-0330 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.