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Burglars hit home of L.A. Councilman Tom LaBonge

May 4, 2010 |  1:54 pm

Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times Crime struck close to home for Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge when he and his family discovered their Silver Lake house ransacked and a laptop computer and jewelry stolen by burglars.

Two teenage boys were seen climbing into an upstairs bedroom around 2:30 p.m. Friday, but a neighbor’s house guest who spotted the pair thought they were kids connected with the home, LaBonge said.

When the LaBonges arrived about 45 minutes later, they quickly realized their home had been burglarized and about $3,000 worth of items stolen. A terrified family cat was found under the kitchen sink.

“It stinks. You feel violated,” he said Tuesday.”It is a property crime and no one was harmed. But what if my family had walked in on the burglars?”

The burglars apparently entered a side yard and managed to gradually pull themselves up to the bedroom window, where they climbed into the house.

After ransacking the bedrooms and taking the items, the teens fled out the front door. Unfortunately for the LaBonges, their guard dog, Dexter, was away at a relative’s house.

In the Northeast patrol division, where LaBonge lives, the LAPD reported that burglaries are up 52% through April, compared with the same period last year. Total property crime in the division, however, was up about 2%, due in part to a 23% decline in auto thefts.

Citywide burglaries are down 10% for the same period and total property crime fell 6%, according to LAPD statistics.

LaBonge said a car on his street was recently broken into, as was a neighbor's house a month ago. In that case, the burglar broke a window and took a laptop computer after knocking on the door and getting no answer. The suspect fled, but a neighbor across the street got the license plate number and the intruder was later arrested.

-- Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times