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Rancho Palos Verdes home-invasion robbery has neighborhood on edge

March 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A search is under way for two men who forced their way into a Rancho Palos Verdes home and held a family captive while ransacking the place.

The incident happened at about 8 p.m. Tuesday when two men wearing masks and gloves forced their way into the home in the 4000 block of Miraleste Drive. The suspects made a mother, father and their daughter stay in one of the bedrooms while they ransacked the place.

The Kubota family was held against their will in their own home on the 4200 block of Miraleste Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes. Two men tore through the home stealing cash, jewelry and valuables.

At about 10:45 p.m., the father noticed that he didn't hear the suspects inside the home. He escaped, ran to a neighbor's house and called for help.

The three family members were not injured. Investigators say the suspects made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

"They said 'Where is your money at? They kept asking for the money. And he says, 'If you don't tell us we're taking your wife with us,'" said Noble Kubota, 89.

Kubota was home with his 85-year-old wife and adult daughter when two men wearing masks and gloves rang the doorbell and then forced their way into the house. They hit Kubota repeatedly across the head and face.

The men told Kubota, his wife and his daughter to lie face down on a bed and not to move while they ransacked the house for nearly three hours.

It remains unclear if the two men were armed or if they knew the family.

According to neighbors, at least three other homes were burglarized on Miraleste in the past two weeks.

"On Wednesday last week my daughter came home at 2 o'clock to find the door open and the house ransacked," said neighbor Kym Battaglia.

Battaglia and other residents say they have had suspicious people knock on their doors in recent weeks.

"They started off like they were trying to sell something and we said we're having dinner, we weren't interested, and the gentleman let us know that he could easily be robbing our house," said Battaglia.

Battagalia says she called authorities but nothing was done. Then two weeks later her house was burglarized. She now hopes after this latest incident more deputies will patrol the area.

Sheriff's deputies say no suspects have been arrested.

Anyone with information related to the case should call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lomita Station at (310) 539-1661.


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