By Marc Cota-Robles
LOS ANGELES (KABC) – After an extensive search Tuesday morning, police are still looking for a man who was captured on home surveillance video holding a gun and sneaking into backyards in the middle of the night.
In an early morning search operation, Los Angeles Police Department officers surrounded a property owned by LADWP just off the 210 Freeway in Shadow Hills. Police say reports of a man matching the suspect’s description came in near the area.
A total of three LAPD SWAT armored vehicles and multiple crews and investigators closed Sunland Boulevard during the search.
According to an update released by LAPD Lt. Eddie Ginter, the suspect has not been found, but the search is continuing.
“He’s definitely someone who knows these hills well. He knows the terrain very well,” Ginter said.
Police say the suspect is linked to a series of burglaries in the area – up to 10, according to Ginter. This includes homes and commercial properties. Over the past few weeks, the man has been seen on several people’s properties.
Ginter confirmed on Tuesday that the man got away with an AR-15 and a BB gun.
Residents, however, have grown increasingly alarmed after recent video obtained by Eyewitness News shows the man crawling around the porch of a home and holding a gun.
Ginter said he and his team believed the suspect was holding a 308 shotgun with a scope, although the suspect did not appear to be aiming at residents.
“Every video we’ve seen, he just carries it by his side,” Ginter said. “I don’t know why he’s wearing it, but so far, no, we haven’t had any reports of him pointing the gun at anyone or threatening anyone.”
Other home security videos shared by neighbors show him prowling other properties.
A resident said the man dropped two guns as he was being chased by police and escaped by running into the hills. He reappeared the following night with a clean shave and more weapons, according to the resident.
Witnesses say they turned over their videos to the LAPD. These videos are now part of the investigation.
“We’ve had great advice already,” Ginter said. “The calls are coming, the videos are coming… being able to use that synergy from everyone. With our resources, we cannot be on every street at all times.
Residents add that police tried to find the man using a helicopter to find out where he might be hiding.
Local business owner Fred Reno said he has seen several major police operations in the area recently. He added that even before the suspect started showing up, he felt crime had increased and hoped the suspect would be caught before anyone was hurt.
“I don’t know what else to do but be more vigilant and inform other neighbors,” he said.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male with a slim build and a tattoo of a marijuana leaf on his right shoulder. Anyone who may have seen the suspect is asked to contact the police.
“If you see anything, if you see anyone out of your neighborhood, anything out of the ordinary, especially if you see someone wearing something that appears to be hidden in their jacket, call 911. Don’t confront them,” Ginter said.
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