Mid-City father uses playhouse to fight thief who stole $25K in podcasting gear

David González Image
Thursday, May 11, 2023
LA podcaster confronts thief who stole $25K in gear
When a thief who stole $25,000 in gear returned to his backyard, Daniel Lobell was ready to fight. His weapon: a child's playhouse.

MID CITY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Daniel Lobell's only instinct when coming face-to-face with an intruder in his backyard last Thursday was to fight.

"You don't know if he's got a weapon," Lobell said. "You don't know what he's going to try and do to you."

A Mid City home surveillance camera captured Lobell immediately lunge at the man, using his daughters' playhouse and toys, to protect his property and his family.

Lobell said the man was able to jump a wall and run away before the protective dad could get his hands on the thief.

"When something like this happens it's very violating. You stop sleeping. You just go through a whirlwind of paranoia and anger and fear," he said.

However, the damage was already done.

Lobell said hours earlier the suspect broke into the bus which had been converted into a mobile podcast studio.

He said the thief got away with more than $25,000 in equipment.

"My heart dropped. I looked in there and all my stuff was gone," Lobell said.

He said the Podcast Bus is his livelihood and it's going to take a lot of work to get back on his feet.

"Wires that need to be rewired. The walls were damaged," Lobell said. "The wood in the floor is scratched. I kept this beautiful."

Lobell suspects the man may be a homeless person living in an encampment near his home.

He thinks the robber returned to the bus to wipe away his fingerprints before getting caught.

Lobell said he would react in the exact same way if he could go back in time.

"I realized it's kind of a kill-or-be-killed situation because you don't know how he's going to react when he sees you catching him," Lobell said.

No arrest has been made in this case.

Lobell wants to get back to work as fast as possible so he's started a GoFundMe to help replace some of the stolen equipment.