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Santa Clarita Valley burglary suspect captured in cellphone photo

January 8, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Authorities are asking for the public's help to identify a "hot prowl" burglary suspect in the Santa Clarita Valley.

A cellphone photo taken by a victim could be the key in solving the case. Officials said the photo shows one of two men who broke into a house on the 26100 block of Quartz Meza Lane last Thursday afternoon while a woman was home.

According to investigators, the woman heard footsteps, ran downstairs and chased the suspects outside. One of them had taken her purse but she ripped it away. The woman attempted to take a photo of the suspects' license plate, but one of the men covered it up. She was able to snap a picture of one suspect standing next to the car, a white 1992 to 1995 Lexus LS 400.

"As the suspect lunged towards the female victim she inadvertently snapped a photograph, a very good photograph, of his entire body including his vehicle and his face," said Deputy Josh Dubin with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The suspect in the photo was described as a Hispanic man, about 6 feet tall with dark brown hair and a moustache. The second suspect was described as a Hispanic man, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, wearing black jeans and a black jacket.

Police said they are investigating another "hot prowl" burglary that took place Monday morning. They said the description of the two suspects in the latest incident matched the first crime, and it occurred less than a mile away on the 25100 block of Sage Crest Circle.

The two men tried knocking on the front door, and when no one answered, they tried to enter the home through the back door. The homeowner, a woman who was there alone, scared them away.

Anyone with information was asked to call the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. Anonymous calls can be made to Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.