2 in Custody, 1 Sought in Glendale Home-Invasion

Two people were in custody and a third was sought in connection with a Glendale home-invasion robbery in which the assailants posed as utility workers to gain access to the residence, police said.

The robbers, wearing orange vests and toting a clipboard, identified themselves as water and power workers to a homeowner on Maginn Drive shortly after 7 a.m., the Glendale Police Department said.

"The victim felt comfortable enough to open the door and was thrown to the ground at gunpoint," said Tahnee Lightfoot, a spokeswoman for the Glendale Police Department. "They ziptied him and two of the suspects went through the home for money."

Responding officers found the homeowner tied up with cuts and bruises on his face.

It's believed the perpetrators left in a Lexus seen on home security cameras. Near the 134 freeway, police spotted a vehicle fitting the description, and took two people into a custody after a brief pursuit that ended near the Autry Museum at the edge of Griffith Park.  The third suspect was not found within the containment perimeter and presumed to have gotten away.

Neighbors say a number of burglaries within the past year in their hillside area have led them to take added precautions against intruders, but said they were stunned by the violent and brazen attack.

"It's very disturbing," said one neighbor. "Sixteen years, never see anything like this."

Detectives are looking into the possibility the house was targeted specifically. The occupant said he did not recognize his attackers, and did not know why they would have targeted him, Lightfoot said. The occupant declined to talk to NBC4 about what happened.

Home invasions are rare and Lightfoot was not aware of any cases in recent times in Glendale in which utility-worker impersonation had been used to gain entry.

Glendale Water and Power, like many utilities, advises customers to take precautions before opening the door for an unscheduled visit from someone purporting to be a utility worker. Those precautions include looking for an official vehicle with prominent logos, asking to see employee photo ID, and calling the utility's office to verify.

Friday's invasion stands apart from non-confrontational burglaries, and residents along Maginn Drive should not feel their neighborhood is at any increased rink, Lightfoot said.  In fact, she said that detectives have identified burglary crews and made "several arrests" in recent months related to 2015 burglaries, and that the burglary cases are down "significantly."  

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