Update: Burglar Shoots at Resident This Morning

Gunman police described as a cat burglar shot at the resident, who called 9-1-1 to report it. Police late Tuesday afternoon said they are still investigating and there would be no suspect description.

Updated at 5 p.m. with neighbor reaction, Neighborhood Watch alert. Updated at 6 p.m. with police saying there won't be a suspect description tonight.:

A Belmont Shore resident discovered a gunman, who fired at him then fled, in his Santa Ana Avenue home this morning, the Long Beach police department said. The 9-1-1 call came in at 8:35 a.m., about the time numerous students are walking or bicycling to Rogers Middle and Lowell Elementary schools a few blocks away.

"At approximately 8:35 we received a 9-1-1 call regarding a cat burglary at a
residence in the 300 block of Santa Ana," said police department spokeswoman Nancy Pratt. It was classified as a cat burglary because a person was in a house at the same time as the intruder, Pratt said.

"Units responded and made contact with the male adult victim," Pratt said in a short e-mail. "A perimeter was established. With the assistance of K-9, the residence was searched and cleared with no suspect(s) found. The area was also searched and no suspect(s) were located.

"The victim stated he was home alone when he discovered an armed male suspect in his residence. Before the suspect fled, he fired at the victim. The victim then called 9-1-1. The victim was not struck and no other injuries were sustained. [The] investigation is ongoing."

By 8:50 a.m., about four black-and-whites were seen parked on Appian Way near the house as a police chopper circled overhead. The wide street runs parallel to the Marine Stadium and homes on both sides of the street. It runs parallel to Vista, where you can see many schoolchildren on bicycles, as well as parents walking with young ones and pushing strollers.

Two nearby residents told Patch that they'd been told that the man's wife came home and found the front door open, and she called police rather than entering alone. Officers could be seen measuring distances and marking off areas with yellow police tape.

A woman who had been pruning front yard plants at the time of the incident said Tuesday that she was unnerved, and had also heard third-hand that three men might have been involved.

"People were walking by with their kids and dogs at the time," said the mother, who was not home alone, but did not want her name used since the suspect  apparently remains free. "I was here gardening and going in and out of the shed at the back (near the alley)."

Anyone who may have information relating to this incident should contact the Long Beach Police Department's Robbery Detail at 570-7464. Anonymous tips may be submitted via text or
web at www.tipsoft.com

Pratt said Tuesday morning that she was still trying to get a suspect description so residents can keep a lookout for the armed intruder. Patch will provide it as soon as it is delivered.

The Belmont Park area's Neighborhood Watch network sent out an e-mail alert with Patch's story at 1:55 p.m. about "the burglary-shooting incident."

John B. Greet February 01, 2012 at 12:50 AM
A guess: Cat burglary is the common vernacular for a burglary of an occupied dwelling, vessel, etc. (460[a]PC.) While there are sentencing enhancements for committing any felony while also armed, the crime in this case is most often called a cat burglary. I suspect the crime report will also include 245(a)(2)PC (Assault with a deadly weapon [firearm.]) The subsequent investigation may reveal that there is something missing from the house. If so, the crime will probably be re-classified as an armed robbery (theft by force or fear.)
Roy February 01, 2012 at 01:40 AM
As a Belmont Shore resident, It's hard to disern the trash pickers from possible intruders. I leave for work at 5:30 AM and almost daily see people in the alley behind my resident going in and out between the homes and apartments. Myself and a few of my neighbors have had garages broken into and items stolen from our backyards. I wish the LBPD would enforce the law and eliminate this vermin from our neighborhoods.
Nancy Wride (Editor) February 01, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Thanks for the help, John. Two residents who called me called it a home invasion, which seemed overstated, but this makes sense. Roy, we had a mountain bike from Jones Bicycle hanging on a hook in the garage. My husband painted the side door (accessible from the alley vs. yard enclosed). Had to leave it ajar until paint dried but it was half inch open. 3 p.m. Someone had to be casing the house because while we were on the roof, someone boldly went in and muscled it off the hook, and left a child's mountain bike. LB police said it's one of the most common bike theft ploys.
Nancy Wride (Editor) February 01, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Shawn, I called until 6 and was emailed that the case was under investigation and no suspect description was released. I sought it all day for people to keep a look out, and have not received it. It is not the typical cat burglar M.O., armed with a gun. JohnG, what do you think? I thought cat burglars are looking for stuff to sell, often for drugs, and want in and out with nobody knowing?
Lbgrrl February 01, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Wow, the writing is just terrible in this article. "pruning front yard plans"? "About four black and whites", and commas missing in so many places, I had to re-read several times to understand.
Nancy Wride (Editor) February 01, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Well good morning Lbgrrl, and thank you for being up so early and pointing out the typo, as I was updating the story via my phone, which is always a bit challenging on the spelling.
LBC Resident February 01, 2012 at 07:17 PM
You go, Nancy! :) Typing on a phone sucks.
LBC Resident February 01, 2012 at 07:18 PM
I'm so glad I've been learning how to shoot a gun. Not that I'm entirely comfortable with them, but at least I now know how to handle one of the guns in my house.
Nancy Wride (Editor) February 01, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Suspects plural now. http://patch.com/A-q7sG
LBC Resident February 01, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Great. Well, three guns for three suspects :) If only I had an extra hand.
Nancy Wride (Editor) February 01, 2012 at 11:24 PM
I've needed that extra hand ever since becoming a Mom. That and an electric eyeball at the back of my head. :D
LBC Resident February 01, 2012 at 11:30 PM
I'm not a mom but I have a 4-year-old neice and I don't know how you moms do it.
John B. Greet February 02, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Nancy I think cat burglars can certainly be armed just as robbers and rapists can be unarmed. I think more cat burglars may be armed than most care to believe. Think about it, the only cat burglars we get to interview are the one's who are caught. So maybe only *bad* cat burglars go un-armed. : ) Home invaders do not seek to avoid detection. They typically enter the residence fast and violently and control the occupants by force and threats while they commit their robbery. A cat burglar typically attempts to avoid detection, even though he or she may know the resident is present.


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