Cerritos sheriff's deputies took three burglary suspects into custody today after they allegedly ransacked a home on Nicholas Avenue in Cerritos then fled on foot, prompting a wide perimeter search along Pioneer Boulevard into East Lakewood.
The events leading up to the arrests began when a Cerritos sheriff's deputy responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle parked in front of a home on the corner of Nicholas Avenue and Anillo Street just before 1:30 p.m. Monday, Sgt. Keith Kanouse of the told Patch at the scene.
When the deputy responded to the location, he spotted a man walking toward a dark green vehicle parked in front of the home with its back end partially blocking the residence's driveway. As the deputy approached, the individual appeared startled and he was immediately detained, Kanouse said.
A short time later, the deputy caught glimpse of a second man jumping from backyard to backyard between the houses along Nicholas Avenue, immediately triggering a sheriff's containment with assistance from a sheriff's helicopter unit, the sergeant said.
Sheriff's deputies closed in on the fleeing suspect and determined that he was hiding inside the garage of the residence next to the home that was burglarized.
Neighbor Finds Suspect Hiding Inside Garage: "Ma'am, I'm not going to hurt you."
"My wife was home gardening on the side of the house when she heard a loud knock at the front door," the homeowner, who asked not to be identified, told Patch. "The officer said they had reports of a suspicious individual in the area and asked if he could check the garage, so she let him in."
"When she opened the door to the garage, there was a man standing there sort of hiding and right away he said 'Ma'am, I'm not going to hurt you'," the homeowner said, adding that the deputy rushed into the garage and took the suspect into custody.
Kanouse said deputies apprehended a third suspect who had fled from the scene in nearby East Lakewood. Two of the individuals in custody could be seen in the back of sheriff's patrol cars parked in front of the burglarized home as detectives continued to investigate the incident.
None of the men were armed, the sergeant said. The names and ages of the suspects have not been released.
Although the home that was broken into "was ransacked," Kanouse said detectives could not immediately determine what, if anything, was taken until they spoke to the residents who were not at home during the time of the burglary.
Neighbor's Report of Suspicious Activity Key to Arrests
Kanouse acknowledged that the report of a suspicious vehicle was instrumental in leading to the eventual arrests, once again emphasizing the importance of residents calling the Cerritos Sheriff's Station when there are things that appear suspicious in nature in their neighborhoods.
"Cerritos sheriff's deputies have already been on high alert as of late," he said, referring to the spike in residential burglaries over the past few weeks. "But when a neighbor calls in to report a suspicious car, that doesn't look like it belongs in the neighborhood, there's a high probability that a suspect is casing or there's a burglary in progress."
Cerritos residents are once again reminded to take a proactive approach and report anything or anyone that appears suspicious to the Cerritos Sheriff's Station at (562) 860-0044.
- - -
* Keep up-to-date with all Cerritos-Artesia news and events by “liking” us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. Don't forget to sign up for our daily newsletter and breaking news alerts on the Cerritos-Artesia Patch homepage.