By JAMES GAGE | Reporter
A string of four burglaries in the Via Mesa neighborhood of Pacific Palisades shocked residents returning to their homes to find broken glass and missing items Wednesday evening, December 19. The burglaries occurred between 1 and 7 p.m.
“LAPD detectives believe the four burglaries are possibly related,” LAPD Senior Officer Michael Moore told the Palisadian-Post.
The break-ins highlight a recent spike in home thefts throughout the Palisades, with over a dozen incidents occurring in the span of a week and close to 20 incidents in the month of December, not including vehicle-related break-ins.
“There were three smashed rear doors and one rear glass sliding door that was opened with an unknown tool,” Moore said of the Via Mesa burglaries. “Jewelry, watches and currency were the property taken in the burglaries.”
The suspect believed to have burglarized all four residences was captured on CCTV at two of the homes he burglarized. He is reportedly 6’0’’, thinly built, and was wearing a white ski mask, a white sweater, dark pants, gloves and a headlamp at the time of the burglaries. The homeowners observed the suspect communicating via walkie-talkie with an accomplice driving a dark Toyota Prius outside two of the burglarized homes.
The first burglary took place on the 600 block of Swarthmore Avenue. The suspect broke into the home by accessing a second-floor balcony and smashing a thick piece of glass, taking jewelry and watches.
“It was a very professional job,” the homeowner, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Post. “Pacific Palisades is no longer safe for anyone.”
The next burglary was reported at the 400 block of Swarthmore Avenue, where the suspect smashed a rear glass door. It is unknown what property was taken. The suspect was captured on a Ring device at the home.
“It’s becoming ridiculous,” Marcelo Loureiro, the homeowner, told the Post. “We had four houses broken into yesterday. I have a Ring system, cameras inside my house, everything.”
Loureiro’s wife and children arrived home at 7:30 p.m. that evening right as the suspect was leaving their property. Loureiro was working in Brazil at the time of the burglaries, but returned home shortly after receiving the news.
“[The suspect] was talking to someone over his radio, which is how he got out before my wife and kids got home,” Loureiro said. “He was still searching almost up to the minute they got home.
“It’s scary that this happens in the Palisades. My kids and wife feel totally invaded—my kids didn’t want to sleep in the house. They saw the shattered glass and the police arrive; it was bad.”
The third burglary took place on the 400 block of Lombard Avenue, where the suspect opened a rear sliding glass door with an unknown tool and took jewelry and watches from the home. SSA patrol were alerted.
The final burglary was reported on the 700 block of Radcliffe Avenue, where the suspect was also captured on CCTV footage. Jewelry and $160 in cash were taken from the home.
“The Palisades needs to be a safe place,” Loureiro continued. “We can’t have this happen. We need to focus on prevention … There are a lot of families that live here—a lot of elderly residents.”
The LAPD have not released any further information at this time.
If you have any information, call the LAPD’s 24/7 anonymous tip line at 1-877-527-3247.