Here in the Shadow Hills, a community that just hit it big with their own reality television show on ABC’s 20/20, there have been quite a few creepy incidents. The latest was when a man broke into two houses and stole people’s possessions Wednesday night according to KABC-TV 5 in Los Angeles County. Police were able to use an unmarked police vehicle from another agency to finally capture him Thursday morning near where he lived.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (CBSLA) – Authorities arrested an armed suspect sought for many armed burglaries in the Shadow Hills and Sunland-Tujunga communities over the previous month after a three-day search.
After being apprehended, an armed guy accused of repeated burglaries in the Los Angeles areas of Shadow Hills and Sunland-Tujunga is placed into an ambulance. The date is November 17, 2021. (CBSLA)
At around 10:40 p.m., police in the vicinity of Shadow Hills Avenue and Wentworth Street, near the Hansen Dam, captured a guy matching the description of the Shadow Hills prowler.
A police K9 discovered the culprit amid deep bush. Before being booked into prison, he was captured and brought by ambulance to a hospital for treatment of a dog bite.
Benjamin Renteria, 25, was named as the suspect on Thursday. He was arrested and charged with burglary. The amount of his bail was set at $240,000.
Renteria is suspected of being the perpetrator of up to a dozen break-ins at residences and businesses since Oct. 19. Neighbors have been posting security camera photographs of the suspect on social media for the previous several weeks. He is shown carrying a variety of weapons, including an assault rifle and a hunting rifle, in the photos. He is suspected of stealing several of the firearms, according to investigators.
The crimes took place in an equestrian area with plenty of foliage and riverside locations where neighbors say the thief may hide.
An off-duty LAPD officer heard gunfire off Wentworth Street in Shadow Hills shortly before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Hansen Dam. Residents in the vicinity also reported seeing a person with a rifle going through the streets.
Before the perpetrator was apprehended three hours later, around 150 LAPD officers stormed the area with K9 units and air backup and put up a huge perimeter.
This follows a massive manhunt that began early Tuesday morning when the suspect was discovered attempting to break into a Sunland-Tujunga Department of Water and Power facility. At the moment, a search yielded nothing. A unoccupied residence in the vicinity was then found burglarized a few hours following the search.
There had been no confrontations, injuries, or allegations of bullets fired prior to Wednesday night.
“We have everything locked up, and we’re always in our home,” Heidi Gonsalves, a neighbor, told CBSLA on Monday. “‘What’s that noise?’ says the narrator. We’re going over all of our cameras. ‘What’s going on?’ has been a common refrain. ‘What is going on with us?’
Lt. Eddie Ginter of the Los Angeles Police Department told reporters on Tuesday that detectives thought they had identified the perpetrator but were waiting for DNA and other evidence to confirm it.
Prior to his arrest, homeowner Denise Maybee told CBSLA that “all of our homes are ranch properties, we have open acreage.” “So he’s been leaping in the yards, in the enormous gigantic plots of land,” says the narrator.
If she saw the armed suspect, Maybee stated she was ready to protect her life and property.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “but I believe in all of the amendments, including the freedom to keep and carry guns.” “I’m going to shoot him.” I’m not going to murder him, but I’m going to injure him.”