A Glendale man and 17-year-old boy were arrested early Wednesday after a homeowner claimed they threatened him after being confronted while trying to break into his home, police said.
Manuel Gomez, 23, and the teen — whose name wasn't released because he's a minor — were taken into custody about 1:24 a.m. on suspicion of attempted burglary after the homeowner identified them as the suspects, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said. The boy was later released to his mother.
When the pair allegedly fled into his backyard to hide, the homeowner yelled at them. Through the darkness, Lorenz said the pair told the homeowner that they were gang members and that he “didn't know who he was messing” with before fleeing.
Police set up a perimeter around the home and found the pair 25 minutes later near Western Avenue and Lake Street.
The pair was in possession of latex gloves, a BMX bike, a red Cannondale bicycle and a Sony PlayStation, Lorenz said. Police said they will investigate whether the items were stolen.
The burglary came several hours after two daytime home break-ins were reported on Tuesday.
The first was reported at about 2 p.m. after a girl returned to her home in the 1500 block of El Miradero Avenue to find every room in the home ransacked, Lorenz said.
Police said thieves likely shattered a rear glass door to gain entry and steal several gaming systems, headphones and iPods.
A short time later, police were notified of another break-in in the 700 block of Dale Avenue, where a 17-year-old boy had also just returned home from school to find two men burglarizing his home, Lorenz said.
The men told the boy, who wasn't physically harmed, to lie down, and they placed a shirt over his face, he said.
They asked him where they should look for money and small valuables inside the home, Lorenz said.
The men took money from the boy's wallet but they wanted more, so one of them picked up the boy to help them find cash, Lorenz said.
They told him to lie down again, warned him not to call police, and then fled with several hundred dollars in cash and possibly jewelry, said Lorenz, who described the incident as “100% unacceptable” and “nerve racking” for the victim.
In last seven days, 10 burglaries were reported; 35 have occurred in the past 30 days, Lorenz said.
Despite this week's break-ins, property crimes, which include burglaries, are down by 11% so far this year, according to the Police Department.
Police say they rely on residents to be their “eyes and ears” to report crime, and use “predictive policing” to place officers in certain neighborhoods to prevent the crime from reoccurring.
“The unfortunate thing is, we can't be in every neighborhood every minute of the day,” Lorenz said.