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Knock-knock burglars return to Glendale

Police say thieves are again targeting area homes with residents inside.

October 04, 2013|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

In two days time, police said thieves, who they've described as “knock-knock burglars,” have broken into and ransacked two homes while the residents were inside.

The residents were not harmed during the break-ins, which occurred early Wednesday in the 1400 block of Andenes Drive and Thursday afternoon in the 1300 block of Sinaloa Drive, according to Glendale police.

In both incidents, the male suspects smashed through the homes' back doors and forced their way inside, where they encountered the residents, police said.

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Three thieves reportedly demanded jewelry and cash as they escorted a resident at the Andenes address through his home. Another home on the same street was burglarized that same day, police said, but no one was home at the time.

The next day, an elderly resident was sleeping at about 2 p.m. inside his Sinaloa Drive home when a thief stormed through the back door and stole what the resident described as items with a high value, according to Glendale police Sgt. Tom Lorenz.

Earlier that day, he said neighbors reportedly saw a man knocking on doors at homes throughout the neighborhood. However, Lorenz said neighbors didn't call police to investigate.

“This could have been prevented,” he added.

The thieves are likely knock-knock burglars, a criminal group that targets affluent neighborhoods in the San Fernando Valley and Glendale, Lorenz said. The group got its nickname because its thieves often knock on a home's door to see if anyone is inside before breaking in and ransacking it. 

Police arrested at least 50 people last year in connection with knock-knock burglaries and recovered more than 11,000 items.

“It appears that, although we suppressed [the group], they are back,” Lorenz said.

Police advised residents to call them if they notice any suspicious activity in their neighborhood.

Residents should make their presence known to anyone who is knocking at any door of their home. Lorenz said. 

“We … cannot be complacent,” he said, adding that police urged residents to be their “eyes and ears.”

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Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

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