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Parolee arrested for allegedly breaking into several homes

June 14, 2011|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com
(Raul Roa/Staff…)

A parolee whom several residents reported seeing inside their homes was arrested Tuesday morning after police shut down the neighborhood and used police dogs and a helicopter to find him.

Parolee Calese Crowder, 24, lived in the same neighborhood, which police said he terrorized for days by breaking into homes.

“This guy was living amongst his victims,” Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said. “He appears to feel safe staying close to home.”

Police scoured the 1100 blocks of Irving and Allen avenues for about three hours as officers searched for the man, who had entered a home that morning.

A police dog found Crowder about 9:50 a.m. hiding in an apartment building’s subterranean parking garage on Allen Avenue. Police kept him underground as victims and witnesses were brought around to help identify him.

“We don’t know what his motives were,” Lorenz said, adding that Crowder was cooperating with police.

At least five incidents have been reported to police since Saturday in which residents allege Crowder entered their homes while they were sleeping. Each time, he was scared off when they woke up, Lorenz said.

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But police said more victims likely haven’t reported other break-ins.

“We truly believe there are other victims out there,” Lorenz said.

Police were obtaining warrants to search Crowder’s home to determine if any valuables were stolen during the alleged break-ins.

Crowder was on parole for robbery, burglary and drug and weapon violations.

He was also arrested in Glendale and convicted in 2006 for a street robbery at Western Avenue and Glenoaks Boulevard, Lorenz said.

Victims told police that Crowder had entered a home in the 1100 block of Thompson Avenue through a window Saturday and fled when residents saw him. Crowder lives on the same block, Lorenz added.

The following day, a woman reported that she found Crowder in her daughter’s bedroom, but he fled when she saw him.

She later told police someone had forgotten to remove her keys in the front-door lock.

While forensic investigators examined the home, a resident notified them that a man was peeping into another home window on Irving Avenue.

Crowder entered a townhome about 6:40 a.m. Tuesday in the 1100 block of Irving Avenue through an open kitchen window and removed the screen, said a resident who identified herself only as Maye.

Crowder allegedly peeked into her roommate’s room but was scared off, she said.

He then allegedly entered another apartment next door, where a woman told police she awoke to find him standing over her. The woman began screaming and called police.

Fourteen police officers, two sergeants, two police dogs and a helicopter responded to the incident, setting up the search perimeter.

Detectives also recovered the man’s clothing, which he had taken off to avoid being identified, Lorenz said.

“The economic times are making people a little bit haywire,” neighborhood resident Glenn Wilkeyson said.

Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa seized on Crowder’s criminal history and parole status in highlighting the threats posed by releasing thousands of state prisoners early — an action ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Anyone with details about the break-ins may call Glendale Police Det. Steve Corrigan at (818) 548-3106. To remain anonymous, call Glendale Crime Stoppers at or (800) 222-TIPS.

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