Bonsall residents return from vacation to discover thieves in house, garage full of stolen goods

Two Bonsall residents returned home from a few days vacation on Friday, April 11, to see the lights on in their residence and their two vehicles parked outside of the garage, rather than inside where they were left.

“One of the residents immediately called 9-1-1,” said Sheriff’s Detective Dan Laibach. “The suspects were inside the house and must have seen the headlights because they ran out of the house, got in one of the owner’s cars and took off before deputies arrived at the scene.”

Laibach said evidence found inside the home indicated that someone had been staying there. “When the residents went in the garage, they saw property that didn’t belong to them,” he added. “The two-car garage was pretty full of stolen merchandise from recent local home and vehicle burglaries.”

“Most of the merchandise was from two significant burglaries – one in Rainbow and one in Bonsall,” said Laibach. “Most of the items were contractors’ power tools.”

Laibach said about 90 percent of the goods stolen in those two burglaries were recovered and returned to their owners immediately.

“We called the victims to come to this house to identify and collect their property; we pretty much returned it to those people in one day,” he said. “In one case, some of the wife’s jewelry was stolen also and we were able to return that as well. They were pretty happy.”

The total amount of stolen property recovered was valued between $20,000 and $30,000, Laibach estimated.

“No arrests have been made yet in the case; our crime lab is still processing evidence which we hope will lead to suspect apprehension,” he said.

Fallbrook Sheriff’s substation commander Lt. Todd Richardson said he wished more local residents would take advantage of the free home vacation checks offered by the department’s Senior Volunteer Patrol unit as well as the free home security consultations offered by the crime prevention department.

“Residents should always lock their doors and windows when not at home and get a motion light for outside,” said Laibach. “Our Senior Volunteer Patrol does a great job on vacation checks for those who sign up for it; if they see something suspicious, they call a patrol deputy to assist.”

Sheriff’s crime prevention specialist John McLelland encourages residents to communicate with their neighbors to create a safety network.

“This way your neighbors will realize when something is out of the ordinary or suspicious going on at your residence,” he said. “Neighbors should call (760) 728-1113 to report unusual activity, or if they see a burglary in progress, they should call 9-1-1.”

McLelland also recommends that residents leave at least three different lights on varying timers when they are away and arrange for someone to pick up newspapers “so they don’t become an obvious sign that no one is there.”

“We would like to help people not be victims of crime,” said Richardson.

To sign up for a free vacation check on a home, call the Sheriff’s Dept. at (760) 451-3100. To schedule a free home security consult and receive valuable suggestions, call John McLelland, Sheriff’s Dept. crime prevention specialist at (760) 451-3124.

5 Responses to "Bonsall residents return from vacation to discover thieves in house, garage full of stolen goods"

  1. Lee   April 24, 2014 at 8:02 am

    One, thank you, Law Enforcement!

    Two, got cameras?

  2. Freddy   April 24, 2014 at 8:46 am

    This is very disturbing news to say the least. I am sure the perps were real comfortable in the home from what it sounds like. They should be able to lift prints and get a match. Anyone stupid enough or doped up enough to pull a stunt like this has surely been put in the system if not, I would be shocked.

  3. grunt   April 24, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Thankfully I live in a neighborhood where my neighbors watch out for each other. When Iam out of town I let them know, and let them know who is expected – some one that should not be there will get 911 called on them.

  4. KLR   April 27, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Our neighbors watch out for each other, too….but this could have been a secluded home up a winding wooded driveway (kind of sounds like this one was). And, not that this was the case by any means, but there are way too many Facebook posts out there that say things like "We’re having a great time in Europe", or "look at us at the Grand Canyon!" People who are not your friends can see these.

  5. water bill payer   April 27, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Sounds like a lot of trouble for little reward. Why don’t these thieves just go get jobs over at Rainbow where they’d get a lot more money, have life time job security and never face arrest.


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