An 18-year-old man suspected of breaking into a Cerritos home earlier this week was arrested by members of the Cerritos Sheriff's Station's Residential Burglary Team today, adding to the early success of a unit that was just formed in January to help curtail the city's residential burglary problem.
Details of Break-In on Maurice Avenue
The suspect, a Cerritos resident, allegedly broke into a home in the 17100 block of Maurice Avenue between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11, according to sheriff's Lt. Richard Harpham.
A follow-up investigation by the station's burglary team resulted in the suspect's arrest at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the city of Norwalk. The man, whose name was withheld pending the ongoing investigation, appears to have been working alone, the lieutenant added.
Harpham said they were still working on recovering the items stolen during Monday's break-in.
Today's arrest adds to the burglary team's early success since the unit was formed last month. Last week, the team in conjunction with Orange County Sheriff's detectives, solved more than a dozen Cerritos home break-ins with the arrest of Andrew Rashad Gatlin, 22, who was taken into custody on Jan. 29 in connection with a rash of Yorba Linda burglaries that took place some time before October and peaked in December.
Burglary Team Has Early Success, But Community Support Still Needed
The burglary team was created in response to the growing trend of daytime residential burglaries in the Cerritos. In 2012 there were 283 residential burgarlies, compared to 217 the year prior. During the last two months (Dec. 2012 to Jan. 2013) the station logged a total of 80 residential break-ins.
In response to these numbers, sheriff's Capt. Keith E. Swensson redirected Cerritos Station resources and personnel already in place toward primarily focusing on preventing, apprehending and prosecuting burglaries within the city.
"With the team out there, they've significantly impacted and been successful at abating the issue at hand ... the number of residential burglaries has significantly diminished," Harpham said.
But he went on to emphasize that while the station's burglary team is scoring early success, receiving support from residents is an instrumental aspect in combatting crime throughout the city.
"We still need our residents to keep alert and report things -- dealing with these crimes is an ongoing effort," he said. "We all have to be mindful of and committ ourselves to this issue -- the residents have to continue their part in being our eyes and ears."
Residents are encouraged to be proactive by reporting any suspicious activity or person(s) to the Cerritos Sheriff's Station at (562) 860-0044.
- Newly Formed Residential Burglary Team Solves More Than a Dozen Cerritos Home Burglaries