Rancho Cucamonga neighborhood on edge after pair of home-invasion robberies

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (KABC) -- Two home-invasion robberies in the same upscale Rancho Cucamonga neighborhood in less than two weeks have rattled nerves in that community.

On Monday, a resident at a home on the 13000 block of Carnesi Drive was held at gunpoint. Security footage from a doorbell camera shows the suspect leading the resident inside the home through an open garage door.

The resident did not want to talk on camera but a neighbor said he was outside putting air in a tire when it happened. The suspect got away with the victim's mother-in-law's purse.

The robbery comes just 11 days after another home invasion on the 6700 block on Di Carlo Place just up the street from Monday's robbery. In that case, three armed suspects stormed the home and terrorized the family sitting in their garage.

"They pepper sprayed us, they tied us. So it was a horrifying experience for my family, my kids. Especially, my 10-year-old who got (pepper) sprayed really bad," said Mike Hafez.

Hafez says the suspects got away with cash and other items, but also took his family's sense of safety.

"You know we use to feel comfortable and safe in our home sitting in the garage sometimes leaving it open. Not anymore," he said.

Investigators with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department aren't saying if the two home-invasion robberies are connected. But they are advising residents to keep their garage doors shut and report any suspicious activity at once.

"It's scary to even open the garage door because that's where they normally come in through. So, I mean you don't have a life anymore. You don't have peace," said a neighbor.

Other neighbors said they were prepared to take matters into their own hands.

"Probably get a gun... that would probably be my next thought. Make sure I am relatively armed," said Rick Schwartz.

Hafez says the back-to-back robberies have united his neighborhood. "We are stronger. Everybody is watching. Everybody is more vigilant. We are determined to do everything to help police catch these criminals."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department at (909)477-2800 or to leave an anonymous tip call the We Tip hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463).
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