By Marc Cota-Robles
LOS ANGELES (KABC– After a thorough search on 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.
As part of a morning search operation, Los Angeles Police Department officers surrounded a property owned by LADWP just off Freeway 210 in Shadow Hills. Police said reports of a man matching the suspect’s description reached the area.
A total of three LAPD SWAT armored vehicles and several crews and investigators closed Sunland Boulevard during the search.
According to an update released by LAPD Lt. Eddie Ginter, the suspect has not been located, but the search is ongoing.
“He’s definitely someone who knows these hills well. He knows the terrain very well, ”said Ginter.
Police said the suspect was linked to a spate 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 spotted on the properties of several people.
Ginter confirmed on Tuesday that the man fled with an AR-15 and a BB pistol.
Residents, however, have grown increasingly alarmed after a recent video obtained by Eyewitness News shows the man crawling around a house’s porch 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 targeting residents.
“Every video that we’ve seen, he wears it right by his side,” Ginter said. “I don’t know why he’s wearing it, but so far, no, we haven’t had any reports that he was 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 pursued by police and escaped by fleeing into the hills. He reappeared the following night with a close 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 some great advice before,” Ginter said. “Calls have been received, videos have been received… to be able to use this synergy of everyone. With our resources, we cannot be on all the streets all the time.
Residents add that the police tried to find the man using a helicopter to find out where he is hiding.
Local business owner Fred Reno said he had recently seen several major police interventions in the area. He added that even before the suspect started to appear, he sensed crime had increased and hoped the suspect would be arrested before anyone was injured.
“I don’t know what to do other than to be more vigilant and to inform the other neighbors,” he said.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic man with a slim build and a marijuana leaf tattoo on his right shoulder. Anyone who has seen the suspect is asked to contact the police.
“If you see something, if you see someone who is not from your neighborhood, something out of the ordinary, especially if you see someone wearing something that seems to be hidden in their jacket, call 911. Don’t confront him, ”Ginter said.
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