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Burglars who break in through doggie doors are targeting the San Fernando Valley near the intersection of the 101 and 405 freeways, police said.
Six incidents were reported in January and February, all occuring within a 2-mile radius in Van Nuys, Lake Balboa, and Encino, said Detective Commanding Officer Lt. Ed Pape of the West Valley Community Police Station.
(See map below for exact locations.)
“The fact that they’re popping up in close proximity leads us to believe it’s one individual or a group of individuals,” Pape said. “But we have no proof of that at this time.”
The total number is not excessive, but it is significant enough to cause concern and indicates "a pattern," Pape said.
Pape identified another concerning element of the recent break-ins.
Typical doggie door thieves reach through and unlock the door.
“Now we’re seeing burglars cutting a larger hole in the door around the doggie door, which is something we haven’t seen before,” he said.
Pape offered several tips for residents to help guard against doggie door break-ins:
-Check around the house and keep gates locked, so burglars can’t access dog doors when they’re in the back of the house.
-Many doggie doors are installed in garage doors. Lock interior garage doors that lead into the house and even lock vehicles in their garages, as some property has been stolen from cars inside private garages.
View Doggie Door Burglaries in West Valley (Jan. and Feb. 2012) in a larger map