Observant Neighbor Thwarts Burglary, Three Arrested

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burglary investigationOn Wednesday, September 26, 2012, at approximately 10:34 a.m., officers from the Long Beach Police Department responded to a call of a suspicious person in the 3300 block of Los Coyotes Diagonal. Thanks to an alert resident’s involvement, and the fast actions of the officers responding to this call, three suspects were taken into custody.

The caller of the incident reported seeing an unfamiliar male subject knocking on his neighbor’s door. Knowing his neighbor was not home, the caller continued to monitor the situation, and noticed two other unknown male subjects walking near the residence.

Soon there was a loud noise as the neighbor’s recycle bin was knocked over by the suspect who had been at the door, after he used it to get over the fence and into the backyard. The caller provided a detailed description of the suspects and continued to keep dispatchers apprised of the suspect’s actions, which always greatly assists responding officers.

In less than three minutes of the call being broadcast to patrol units, officers were on the scene to set up a perimeter. One officer immediately located two subjects in the vicinity, which matched the description given by the caller. Both were detained and found to have been involved in the burglary by serving as lookouts, while the third suspect attempted to make entry.

Additional officers arrived and quickly found the third suspect, who was found to have removed a window screen from the residence, and took him into custody without incident.

Although entry was not made into the residence, the act of attempting entry into a residence with the intent to commit a theft or any felony constitutes a burglary. All three suspects are culpable for the crime and were arrested for residential burglary.

The suspects have been identified as 18-year-old Donovan Lee Steverson of Carson, 18-year-old Teyrin Laron Johnson of Bellflower, and 20-year-old Thadduas Lamarr Sistrunk of Long Beach.

The community is quickly able to discern who does and does not belong in their neighborhood, and their involvement greatly assists officers. The “suspicious person” calls that many discount as being trivial can sometimes yield significant results, as in this case.

Anytime possible suspicious activity is occurring, residents should call 9-1-1 when the activity is occurring, and give a detailed description of the activity, and those involved.

Common suspicious activity prior to a residential burglary includes subjects “casing” the area, sometimes by loitering, or slowly walking near their target location. As is the case in many burglaries, the suspects may also knock on the doors of residences prior to entering the property, which is a common tactic criminals use to determine if anyone is home, or any neighbors are paying attention.

In addition, residents should be sure to secure their homes properly with all doors, windows and entry gates locked. Since entry is often made at the rear of the residence after the burglar determines the home is unoccupied, trash bins and other items that may give a crook leverage over a fence and into a backyard should be moved. Other items such as tools or gardening and barbecue equipment should  be secured also, as these items are sometimes used to force entry into back doors or windows.

“The community is the first line of defense when it comes to preventing crime in neighborhoods, and we can’t stress enough the importance of citizens looking out for each other and serving as the eyes and ears of the police,” stated Chief Jim McDonnell. “Keeping our neighborhoods safe is a team effort and we thank this community  member, and all others who choose to get involved, for their partnership.”

For more crime prevention information, please visit the LBPD website at www.longbeach.gov/police.

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