Julie Hisel is replacing her front door after burglars kicked it in on Thanksgiving Day. Hisel says she and her family left their Covina home to enjoy the day with family, only to return to a nightmare.
"It feels real bad. My house was ransacked," said Hisel. "They took every drawer out, everything. All jewelry is gone and my husband's computer. It's a sad world."
Covina Police say Hisel was the victim of a burglary ring, spearheaded by two families, that targeted homes in the San Gabriel Valley. Detectives say the suspects would make sure no one was home before breaking in and robbing it.
"It's been in surrounding areas, San Dimas, Glendora, Covina areas that property has been stolen from, so the number right now is unknown how many homes they've actually burglarized," said Covina Police Sgt. Ray Marquez. "They were forcing their way into the residence, and once inside the residence, they were basically just going through the home, ransacking and grabbing anything they can."
Police say thanks to a tip, they arrested one of the burglary suspects, 32-year-old Thomas Dandurand of Pomona. They say they got Dandurand soon after he broke into Hisel's home on Thanksgiving.
"The suspect that was in the house actually walked out into the arms of deputies," said Marquez.
Police say the arrest of Dandurand led to the arrest of his wife, 28-year-old Susana Chaidez. The suspect's nephew was also taken into custody. Police also arrested 21-year-old Henry Arce of Baldwin Park. They are on the hunt for 27-year-old Anthony Arce, the alleged mastermind of the burglary ring.
Police say they're not sure how long the suspects had been burglarizing homes but they say from the amount of stolen items recovered from the suspects it appears they had been burglarizing homes for a while.
Police say the suspects were using the Internet to get information on potential victims.
"They were actually getting information from local politicians and officials as far as names, addresses, photos of these people's homes," said Marquez. "We suspect that they were potentially going to be future victims of burglaries."
Police are actively seeking Anthony Arce.
If you have information related to the case, contact Covina Police detectives at (626) 384-5612.