A Mar Vista resident was taking action to get rid of unwanted pests in her home, but ended up being a victim of burglary. Surveillance video shows a burglar stealing valuables as the house was being fumigated. It’s the second time in a week that burglars have targeted homes being fumigated. 

The homeowner says she is extremely upset and feels violated, but she is thankful no one was home during the time of the break-in and 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.”

Suspect climbing through the window of a home in Mar Vista to steal belongings
Surveillance footage shows a burglary suspect at a home in Mar Vista. (Alexis Lerner)

Gilliam-Lerner says the suspect made entry from the backyard. She’s not exactly sure how he got back there, but she does know based on evidence 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 hand prints 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. 

“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. “

According to Detective Robin Salazar from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Community Division who is working the case, there has only been one other home within the last week that’s been burglarized while fumigating and that was in the Venice area. The detective says this type of crime is not very common, because of how dangerous it can be. 

Years ago, someone died and in other cases, some passed out. That’s why the suspect who broke in was wearing a mask. 

An employee from the fumigation company told 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.