Malibu West hit by burglaries

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LA County Sheriffs

Authorities are searching for a man they believe burglarized unlocked vehicles and yards in the Malibu West neighborhood to the tune of $10,000 on Monday last week, before returning one night later and abandoning a vehicle with the stolen goods after being spooked by a resident who called the police.

Det. Sam Taylor of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station said multiple residents of the neighborhood woke up Tuesday morning last week to discover their unlocked cars were missing wallets, purses and in one case a laptop computer. A motorcycle had also been taken from an unlocked shed outside one residence. The thefts were believed to have taken place late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, Taylor said. The total value of the stolen goods was estimated at about $10,000.

But the next night, the person or persons who went on the crime spree apparently came back for more.

“One of the residents of the neighborhood heard a noise at about 4 a.m., went outside, saw a car parked in the street with the door open, didn’t see anyone there. [The resident] called the sheriff’s department, deputies came and impounded the car and found some items that had been stolen the day before in the car,” Taylor said.

“The car was abandoned, the deputies searched for him, couldn’t find him,” Taylor continued. “There’s some word that somebody called and notified a deputy that about the time they were looking for him they heard some noise in their back yard and some of their furniture was rearranged, so it’s possible he was hiding in their back yard.”

Taylor said the car, a Chevrolet Tahoe, had been reported stolen out of Point Hueneme.

“We went over to the registered owner of the car in Point Hueneme and had a long conversation,” Taylor said. “From that we gleaned that it was more than likely her boyfriend that did it, and he wasn’t there. But we recovered more stolen property from inside the house.”

Taylor would not release the name of the suspect, who remains at large, but said the man has a history of drug and theft arrests. The suspect has connections to the Santa Paula area and may be there currently, Taylor said. Authorities hope to have a warrant for the man’s arrest by Friday afternoon.

Taking possessions from unlocked vehicles or houses is considered petty theft, Taylor said, as opposed to grand theft, when property is taken after forcible entry.