Neighbor stops burglary suspect amid string of business break-ins in Del Rey and Venice area

A total of seven businesses in the area were targeted, but police are still working to see if they're all connected.

Eric Resendiz Image
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Video shows neighbor stopping Venice burglary suspect
Three suspects were arrested in connection with a string of burglaries in the Venice and Del Rey area, and video shows a neighbor jumping into action to stop one of them.

DEL REY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Thieves targeted seven businesses in the Venice and Del Rey area in overnight smash-and-grab burglaries, at least one of which was captured on surveillance video, authorities said.

Three suspects have been taken into custody in connection with two of the break-ins, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, but whether the suspects and all seven of the burglaries were connected remains unclear.

Investigators confirmed that each of the individuals in custody lives in the area.

Neighbor jumps into action

One of the break-ins happened at Dudley Market, a seafood restaurant in Venice. Paul Markham, who lives in the area, happened to come across the suspect and jumped into action.

Video shows the suspect pleading to be let go after Markham knocked them to the ground.

"Jumped back out the window, like, right into my arms ... so, a little wrestling match ended over there. I locked them up, sat on top of them for like 20, 25 minutes [until the] cops showed up."

Markham said he heard when the suspect first smashed the window and left with the cash register. The suspect then came back and tried to leave with tip money. The restaurant owner then showed up and helped restrain the suspect. Markham was left with scratches on his hands from holding the suspect down on the pavement.

"It's my neighborhood, man. That's it. There's no Good Samaritan, there's no hero ... I live here. This is my neighborhood."

Break-ins in Del Rey

Police are also looking into a string of burglaries that happened overnight in Del Rey, about two miles from the Venice incident.

Six businesses near Maxella Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard were targeted, including Nick the Greek restaurant.

Video footage shows a lone intruder shattering a glass front door before heading straight for the cash register behind a counter, taking the cash inside. All six of the businesses were hit in the hours after midnight, the LAPD said.

Rick Tavarez with Commercial Property Maintenance said some the businesses that were hit are small businesses, owned by hard-working families. Police said the suspects in that incident are in custody.

"They don't want to work," Tavarez said. "They need to get out there and work. They need some kind of structure. That's a problem, no structure, no discipline."

Officers initially responded to the Ulta Beauty store on Maxella Avenue, just east of Lincoln Boulevard. Other nearby establishments were also burglarized, including a Starbucks location, a juice bar and a Hawaiian barbecue restaurant

"They were up there cleaning, they heard the windows starting to break," said Tavarez. "There's no visibility of what's going on from where they were. If you go up on the top and you walk around the corner, there's a balcony over there, and so ... the person that was cleaning walked around, looked down, saw the people breaking in the windows, called 911. They saw her and they took off."

No estimate of the amount of cash and merchandise that was stolen was immediately available.

All of the incidents remain under investigation. Police said they're still interviewing the three suspects that have been arrested.

Anyone with information is urged to contact authorities.