Home surveillance cameras captured a brazen, fast pair of burglars as they used a crowbar to break into a home in the Oak Park community of Ventura County Tuesday afternoon.
The homeowners, Randy Klein and his wife, were not home during the break-in, which occurred at around 1:30 p.m., but after receiving a call from their security company, they watched the heist from an app on their phone.
“In live time, we saw people breaking into the house, and my wife and I were both an hour away,” Klein told KTLA.
Along with feeling completely violated, Klein said he was grateful good neighbors and security cameras were all around the neighborhood, but it was his home’s security camera that also captured images of a woman involved in the burglary.
The woman, who they believe was a lookout and a getaway driver, can be seen approaching the home with a bag in her hand, appearing as if she was there to deliver food. After she rings the doorbell and knocks without getting any response from inside the home, she walks back to her vehicle and backs it into the driveway. Moments later, the two men move in.
“You just feel helpless, you don’t know what to do,” Klein said.
After calling 911, the Kleins called their neighbors to alert them. KTLA Photojournalist Tony Fote happens to live across the street. When his wife received the frantic call from the Kleins, Fote and his son pulled out their smartphones and started rolling on the burglars.
“At least I’ll have pictures,” Fote said, admitting that he wasn’t really sure what he should do in the situation.
“Once my wife came out, they kind of spotted us. Within like 20-30 seconds, they came out with the sacks and threw them in the car,” Fote explained.
The thieves took off in a black four-door Chevrolet Cruz. It’s unclear exactly what was stolen, but they did leave plenty of evidence behind, including a clear image of one of the suspect’s faces. The other male suspect is seen wearing a medical face mask.
A closeup photo of one of the burglary suspects taken on June 27, 2023. (KTLA)Read More »
“It just makes you think twice about what you really need to protect yourself,” Klein said. “And there’s not a lot you can really do other than do the thing you don’t want to do, which is carry a gun.”
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said that in the past, many break-ins targeting Oak Park and other SoCal neighborhoods have been carried out by organized burglary crews with ties to South America. In this case, however, investigators say the thieves did not appear to be operating with a high level of sophistication.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.