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Thief using garage remotes to break into Valley homes, LAPD says

January 31, 2013 |  1:16 pm

Los Angeles police are warning San Fernando Valley residents who park on streets or in driveways to take their garage remotes inside with them to combat a thief who is using the devices to break into homes.

The suspected burglar is described as a Latino in his late 20s, 160 to 180 pounds, about 5 feet 9 and seen driving a 2009 to 2011 silver Toyota Rav 4. The LAPD also has released security surveillance video stills of the suspected thief.

At least three break-ins believed to be related were reported from Jan. 15 to Jan. 19, north and south of Ventura Boulevard in Encino.

"It's like leaving your house keys in the car," LAPD Officer Peter Doomanis said. "You take your house keys out of your car, you take your phone of the car, you should take your remote out of the car."

Police said the thief has been spotted between the 405 Freeway and White Oak Avenue. At one residence, when the thief could not get into the home, he ransacked the garage.

Investigators did not detail the items that were taken. Anyone with information about the suspected thief is asked to contact LAPD West Valley detectives at (818) 374-7630.


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-- Andrew Blankstein