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Chino suspect targeting homes, considered dangerous

June 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A search is under way in Chino for a dangerous robber who has broken into several homes over the past five weeks.

Authorities say the suspect has been violent on two occasions. The most recent attempt was on Monday night when he tried to remove a screen from a home, but when he heard the person inside, he took off before he had a chance to steal a woman's purse.

There have been eight incidents in the last five weeks, mostly in northeastern Chino in the areas between Central and Mountain avenues and the 60 Freeway and Riverside Drive. The incidents have occurred late at night or early in the morning before 3 a.m.

Chino police released a sketch of the suspect, who is described as black or Hispanic, between 18 and 30 years old, between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing roughly 160-180 pounds.

In five of the burglaries, police say the suspect stole money or the victims' purses. In two of the incidents, the suspect attacked the victims before getting away.

Area residents received a flyer with information about the suspect, and they said it took them by surprise.

"Our neighborhood is pretty quiet and safe. I was shocked that somebody is breaking into houses," said Alex Shalabi.

Police say the suspect has had easy access to the homes he's burglarized. He usually enters homes through open first-floor windows.

Authorities encouraged residents to run their air conditioning instead of leaving windows open to let in a cool breeze at night. Officials also advised residents to secure windows and doors and not to leave valuables in plain sight in their homes, such as purses or cash out on a dresser.

"We're locking the doors now. We're locking the doors and windows. We usually sleep with the windows open at night. Now, we're not," Colon said.

Many residents say the burglar has shaken the sense of security they've enjoyed. They hope he's caught soon. Resident Harry Tooley said the suspect picked the wrong neighborhood to target.

"There's a number of retired police officers around here, and one thing about it is we all believe in the second amendment, and a number of us have been staying up at night, cleaning our guns," Tooley said.

If you have any information about these crimes, you're urged to contact the Chino Police Department at (909) 628-1234.

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