Mission Viejo family recounts break-in at home in OC neighborhood plagued by recent burglaries

Shayla Girardin Image
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Family recounts break-in at home in neighborhood plagued by burglaries
A Mission Viejo family recounted a break-in at their home in a neighborhood that has been plagued by recent burglaries.

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. (KABC) -- A Mission Viejo family recounted a break-in at their home in a neighborhood that has been plagued by recent burglaries. The suspects were seen on surveillance video before leading authorities on a chase that ended some 50 miles away, in Echo Park.

Footage from the Thursday-night incident shows at least three suspects walking onto the homeowners' property and later making their escape, with one burglar dropping a pillowcase full of stolen jewelry.

Afterward, Madison Weil tried to find a silver lining to the break-in at her family's home.

"I'm really grateful that if this was going to happen to our family, that it happened on a night where I was here with him," she told ABC7, referring to her father. "Because I do fear he may have wanted to go confront the individuals in our home."

Her father, Jay Weil, said he was indeed ready to do so.

"I think, in my mind, if they came downstairs I was prepared to engage them," he said in an interview. "But that didn't happen, thankfully."

Weil said he and his daughter walked in on the burglary as it was happening.

Suspects leading the CHP on a chase in Echo Park got stuck behind a slow-moving truck on a freeway exit ramp, causing them to run away on foot.

It's a type of crime that has been happening in the Mission Viejo neighborhood. Neighbor Noor Ahmed's home was burglarized in November.

"They took luxury backpacks, suitcases, purses, jewelry," Ahmed said. "Of course, our pillowcases were all gone and they were filled up."

Ahmed was not at home at the time of that break-in. She said her surveillance cameras were left on the chargers.

In May, Mike Zorzi's security system was only active downstairs, which he thought was adequate.

"We're at 1,000-feet elevation," he said. "We're probably 200 feet from the main road. So who's going to bother to walk up here to walk us?"

The burglars case climbed Zorzi's balcony and shattered the glass. He has since equipped everything with an alarm, including the glass itself.

"People who typically buy jewelry for themselves probably have a lot more than we do," he Zorzi said. "And yet it's still, you think you have nothing and it adds up. And it's the sentimental value of things."

Jay Weil showed ABC7 a ring that he inherited from his father -- and was stolen Thursday night.

"He passed away when I was a teenager and this is the only thing that I have of him," Weil said.

The pursuit that originated in Orange County, and later made its way into Los Angeles, ended with a crash, an arrest and a pillowcase full of jewelry returned to its rightful owner. The Orange County Sheriff's Department believes some of the suspects involved in the burglary remain at large. Some firearms were reported stolen from the home, authorities said.