Two Bonsall residents returned home from a few days vacation on Friday, April 11, to see the lights on in their residence and their two vehicles parked outside of the garage, rather than inside where they were left.
“One of the residents immediately called 9-1-1,” said Sheriff’s Detective Dan Laibach. “The suspects were inside the house and must have seen the headlights because they ran out of the house, got in one of the owner’s cars and took off before deputies arrived at the scene.”
Laibach said evidence found inside the home indicated that someone had been staying there. “When the residents went in the garage, they saw property that didn’t belong to them,” he added. “The two-car garage was pretty full of stolen merchandise from recent local home and vehicle burglaries.”
“Most of the merchandise was from two significant burglaries – one in Rainbow and one in Bonsall,” said Laibach. “Most of the items were contractors’ power tools.”
Laibach said about 90 percent of the goods stolen in those two burglaries were recovered and returned to their owners immediately.
“We called the victims to come to this house to identify and collect their property; we pretty much returned it to those people in one day,” he said. “In one case, some of the wife’s jewelry was stolen also and we were able to return that as well. They were pretty happy.”
The total amount of stolen property recovered was valued between $20,000 and $30,000, Laibach estimated.
“No arrests have been made yet in the case; our crime lab is still processing evidence which we hope will lead to suspect apprehension,” he said.
Fallbrook Sheriff’s substation commander Lt. Todd Richardson said he wished more local residents would take advantage of the free home vacation checks offered by the department’s Senior Volunteer Patrol unit as well as the free home security consultations offered by the crime prevention department.
“Residents should always lock their doors and windows when not at home and get a motion light for outside,” said Laibach. “Our Senior Volunteer Patrol does a great job on vacation checks for those who sign up for it; if they see something suspicious, they call a patrol deputy to assist.”
Sheriff’s crime prevention specialist John McLelland encourages residents to communicate with their neighbors to create a safety network.
“This way your neighbors will realize when something is out of the ordinary or suspicious going on at your residence,” he said. “Neighbors should call (760) 728-1113 to report unusual activity, or if they see a burglary in progress, they should call 9-1-1.”
McLelland also recommends that residents leave at least three different lights on varying timers when they are away and arrange for someone to pick up newspapers “so they don’t become an obvious sign that no one is there.”
“We would like to help people not be victims of crime,” said Richardson.
To sign up for a free vacation check on a home, call the Sheriff’s Dept. at (760) 451-3100. To schedule a free home security consult and receive valuable suggestions, call John McLelland, Sheriff’s Dept. crime prevention specialist at (760) 451-3124.