Rash of robberies frustrate Hollywood Hills residents

HOLLYWOOD HILLS, LOS ANGELES

On Monday, police released surveillance video that shows a man that investigators believe is responsible for a string of break-ins.

An Eyewitness News viewer says the same burglar, caught on surveillance video, broke into his house more than a year ago. Rick Taldykin says he recognized the man from an Eyewitness News report Monday.

In the video, released by LAPD, the burglary happens in less than two minutes.

The man caught on surveillance video walks up to a home in the Hollywood Hills. He knocks, takes a look inside, and then smashes the plate glass door.

He ransacks the living room and grabs as many valuables as he can carry before driving off in a white Jeep Grand Cherokee.

"It sucks, it's like the biggest invasion of privacy," said Rick.

He says the burglar made off with more than $20,000 worth of camera gear, computers and watches.

Rick provided surveillance video to police, but the case went cold last year. On Monday, Rick saw the report on Eyewitness News about a man who police think is responsible for several break-ins in the same general area.

Rick says the man in the video released by LAPD and broadcasted Monday is the same guy who broke into his house in Sept. 2012.

"I was actually surprised that this guy is still on the loose, given that the police had the information, they had the surveillance footage that I had given them about a year-and-a-half ago already," said Rick.

The most recent break-in occurred Wednesday in the 2700 block of La Cuesta Drive.

Police say there have been about a dozen burglaries in the Hollywood Hills over the last eight weeks.

"We're asking residents to be vigilant, be on the lookout, establish neighborhood watches if possible," said LAPD Lt. Marc Reina.

The suspect was described as a Hispanic man around 30 years old, 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing about 200-210 pounds.

Investigators want to track him down quickly, worried that his brazen behavior could escalate.

If you have information related to the burglaries or the suspect, call (877) LAPD-24-7.

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