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Off-duty LA deputy shoots suspects robbing his home in Cerritos

October 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
An off-duty Los Angeles sheriff's deputy shot two burglary suspects caught in the act of robbing the deputy's home in Cerritos.

Authorities said the deputy arrived on the 12900 block of Glenda Street shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday to find three suspects leaving his home. A struggle ensued, and the deputy shot two of the suspects. The third suspect fled and remains at large.

"Good for him, because we should have the right to protect our homes and our families and all these things," said neighbor Judy Wink

Sheriff's officials said the deputy's home was being fumigated and had been tented.

There had been a rash of burglaries throughout Southern California involving the same type of burglaries of tented homes.

At least five such incidents were reported by the Westminster Police Department in Orange County several months ago.

Gardena has seen at least nine fumigation break-ins, Inglewood has had 12 and Torrance had six in the last year.

Police say the burglars usually go in when they see fans in the homes, signaling safe entry and open doors and windows.

"I know that when we had ours done, even just driving by, everything is standing so wide open, that it kind of concerned me," said Wink.

For people in this particular Cerritos neighborhood, Thursday's incident is an unfortunate reminder that no area is immune from crimes of opportunity.

"From now, we will lock our doors and the back doors," said another neighbor Rose Bautista.

The suspects were only described as African American men. The two who were shot were transported to an area hospital where they underwent surgery for non life-threatening injuries.

The off-duty deputy involved in the shooting received minor injuries in the incident. His identity was not released.

The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office and LAPD's Homicide Bureau and Internal Relations were investigating the incident.

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