ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, Calif. (KABC) -- It's been a stressful week for many residents in Rolling Hills Estates who have been forced to evacuate due to a destructive landslide.
Michael Schwartz is one of them.
"We loved it here, and we thought we'd live here forever," he said.
His home is one of several that have slid down a nearby canyon following the landslide. Schwartz, his wife and his daughter have been living in a hotel since Friday.
"At first, I was in denial, but now, it's just devastating," he said. "The reason I think I'm so emotional now is I came home, well the hotel we're staying at, my daughter was crying. I said, 'What's the matter, honey?' and she said, 'We don't have a home.' How do you handle that? I can't say, 'Yes we do.' I just say, 'We're still together and we got each other.'"
Schwartz didn't want to speculate on the cause of the landslide and said the homeowners association is communicating with insurance, leaving his family in the dark about what's next.
He said he's thankful for his wife, who made them leave a day early, and the firefighters who correctly assessed the severity of the situation.
"You literally heard cracks," recalled Schwartz. "The land was changing and stuff like that. We saw separations, and my wife, being the mother she is, she said, 'I just want to move out.'"
If things could not get worse, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has since been providing security to the impacted homes after about two suspects attempted to burglarize the evacuated homes. Two suspects were taken into custody Thursday.
"I think it's terrible that people are taking advantage of a situation like this," said Rolling Hills Estates resident Edna Hyatt. "I imagine these people came in because they felt that nobody was in the homes, and they would have access to it, but I normally feel very safe here."
Schwartz said once the Earth stops moving, he's hoping to remove some of the personal items that remain his home.
A total of 17 homes have been evacuated due to the landslide, which first began on Saturday.