Cat Burglar Puts Placentia Neighborhood on High Alert

It's an old-fashioned word, but police are calling the thief a "cat burglar" because they slip in and out of homes undetected

It was the night after Christmas and the Sadlers were exhausted from after holiday get togethers.

It wasn't until the next morning that they noticed their home was in disarray.

“We were all upstairs sleeping. They came through a window in our living room and went through out every room downstairs,” Kim Sadler said of the mystery intruder.

Sadler’s home was robbed Dec. 26, with thieves emptying her family’s wallets, stealing jewelry, gift cards, a camera, an iPod and “everything that was downstairs.”

Four other homes in her Placentia neighborhood were also ransacked.

“Not a peep, not a peep,” Sadler said. “In five homes, not one of us heard anything.”

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Police believe the recent string of burglaries in Placentia could be connected to 10 break-ins that happened in the Orange County city about two months ago.

They’re calling the intruder – or intruders – a cat burglar because they’re slipping into victim’s homes without them ever knowing.

The thieves even got past two Siberian huskies at the Hassans’ home, which was burglarized Dec. 27 sometime after midnight.

Stephanie Hassan said she and her family were fast asleep when intruders broke into their home, probably using a doggie door, to steal game consoles and money.

“Your imagination goes crazy knowing that someone was in your home, they were walking around -- and I don't even know -- they could have walked down the hall and looked at us sleeping, I have no idea,” Hassan said.

Hassan and Sadler handed out fliers to about 150 neighbors over the weekend to help police catch the thief or thieves, before someone gets hurt.

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Investigators do not believe the thieves were caught on camera because residents in the quiet neighborhood never felt the need for surveillance.

But police said no matter how safe a neighborhood seems, residents should lock their doors and windows and rethink doggie doors.

Given the size of a typical doggie door and the nimbleness of the intruders, some residents believe the break-ins may be the work of kids living in the neighborhood.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Placentia Police Department.

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