3 plead not guilty in thefts

Suspects were seen knocking on door, going into backyard, police say.

May 12, 2010|By Veronica Rocha

DOWNTOWN — Three women pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court for allegedly attempting “knock-knock” burglaries in a north Glendale neighborhood, officials said.

Ziara Cannady, 23, of Los Angeles, and Compton residents Valerie Acosta and Sukari Joffiron, both 20, were charged with one felony count each of attempted first-degree residential burglary, according to a criminal complaint.

Glendale police detectives have been talking to Los Angeles police investigators about similar burglary attempts in the West Valley, Det. Scott Byrne said.


“There is nothing concrete yet,” Byrne said.

Los Angeles detectives were also looking for three women who used the “knock-knock” method April 16 to try to break into an Encino home, according to a Police Department notice. The burglary attempt was caught on security surveillance camera, but LAPD officials have not said if they believe the women caught in Glendale are the so-called “knock-knock bandits.”

Video footage showed the women, who were described as black and in their late 20s, knocking on the home’s door, then entering the backyard and fleeing after an alarm went off, according to a public announcement.

They were also wanted in connection with two separate burglaries in the Encino area.

Cannady, Acosta and Joffiron were arrested Friday morning after Glendale police received calls from residents about the women knocking on the doors of expensive homes in the neighborhood of Valley View Road and Parkwood Drive, Glendale police said.

A resident told police that a woman knocked on her home door, asked for directions to a freeway, then entered a black Nissan with another woman, police said.

“They claimed they were lost,” Byrne said.

The resident immediately became suspicious of the women and called police, who arrived in the neighborhood and started searching from them.

Another witness hailed an officer after reportedly seeing the women knock on his neighbor’s door on 1400 block of North Columbus Avenue, police said.

When no one answered the door, the witness saw the women try to push and pry open the door, police said.

After an unsuccessful attempt, the women entered the home’s backyard, police said.

A second Glendale police officer then saw the trio inside the Nissan on the 1500 block of North Columbus Avenue, a block away from the home. Officers also found burglary tools inside the car.

The women matched the witnesses’ description and were arrested, police said.

Officers said no items were stolen from the home, but the front door had screwdriver pry marks, which were consistent with the tools inside the car, police said.

Cannady, Acosta and Joffiron are expected to appear May 20 in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Burbank for a hearing.

Police are seeking anyone else who may have seen the women. Call Glendale police at (818) 548-4911, or Glendale Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

Get in touch VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at veronica.

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