The Cerritos Residential Burglary Team arrested two members of a burglary crew last Friday night after receiving reports from Cerritos residents who observed suspicious activity in their neighborhood.
The events leading up to the arrests began about 6 p.m. on April 12 when a resident reported that a man had knocked on her door and asked for someone who did not live there, Cerritos sheriff's Detective Aaron King told Patch. After the suspect drove away from her home, the woman immediately alerted the Cerritos Sheriff's Station.
Deputies quickly responded to the area in search of the suspect in the vehicle, which was later identified as a dark colored 2008 Malibu.
A short time later, a deputy spotted a car matching the description of the suspect vehicle parked in front of a residence on the corner of Felson Place and Cortner Avenue, King said, adding that when the deputy approached the vehicle, he noticed that a man was reclined in the driver's seat apparently trying to hide.
Two Suspects Nabbed After Cerritos Station Receives Residents' Tips
The driver, who was later identified as Eddie Garlin, 23, of Compton, was detained to determine whether he was involved in any crime.
A few minutes later, the Cerritos Station received another phone call from a resident located one block north of that area who reported seeing two men jump a fence into her backyard and then flee onto Rose Street.
The burglary team quickly set up a containment, and one of the two suspects was taken into custody, King said. The suspect -- identified as Norman Reed, 23, of Los Angeles -- was found in possession of jewelry he allegedly took while burglarizing the Rose Street home. He was also identified by witnesses as one of the two men seen fleeing from the scene.
The second man who fled was not located within the perimeter, and the burglary team is still actively searching for him, King said.
The two men who were arrested -- Garlin and Reed -- have extensive criminal histories, and may be linked to other burglaries committed in the city of Cerritos and surrounding areas, King said.
"If the first resident hadn't called, we may not have discovered the burglary that had taken place the next block over," the detective said.
When Residents Call, Burglars Are Captured
Lt. Jeff Deedrick, who oversees the station's burglary team, said these arrests serve as another reminder of how critical it is for residents to immediately communicate any suspicious activity with authorities.
"This incident exemplifies the importance of our residents calling when they see suspicious behavior," Deedrick said. "Based on the way these burglary crews knock on doors or jump over fences at either beginning or end of a crime, when residents call us, we have a successful outcome."
"The Cerritos Station burglary team and the rest of the station's deputies have been very successful at apprehending these residential burglars when the calls come in," the lieutenant added.
Cerritos residents are encouraged to report any suspicious activity or behavior to (562) 860-0044.
Cerritos Residential Burglary Problem to Be Discussed at April 24 Town Hall Meeting
Additional information on crime statistics and trends in the city, including tips on how to prevent from becoming a victim, will be presented at the Cerritos Town Hall Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. at Cerritos Park East. The major topics will be residential burglary prevention and neighborhood vigilance along with the current status of school safety in Cerritos. Residents are encouraged to attend this community meeting.