The Latest | Southern California breaking news and trends
Crime & Justice

Police announce task force to tackle ‘door-knock’ burglary ring

Photo by jondoeforty1 via Flickr Creative Commons

Top brass from the Los Angeles and Glendale police departments gathered in Panorama City on Thursday afternoon to announce the formation of a joint task force designed to stop a regional burglary ring.

Police arrested four men on Tuesday -- following a daylong manhunt in Glendale -- that they believe are part of the ring, composed of South Los Angeles gang members who target affluent neighborhoods around the San Fernando Valley.

Police say the ring is large and well organized, with thieves using rental cars and listening to police scanners as they roam affluent neighborhoods. They said the four men who were apprehended Tuesday are among 18 recent arrests believed to be part of a rash of “door-knock burglaries,” in which thieves simply knock to make sure no one is home, then break in and take jewelry, electronics and other valuables.

Police think the foursome may be responsible for as many as 10 other door-knock burglaries in Glendale. They also believe that many more members of the burglary ring are still out there.

The Burglary Task Force “will specifically target crimes being committed by burglary suspects who are operating throughout Southern California,” police announced. Deputy chiefs and commanders from the LAPD were in attendance Thursday, as well as Captain Michael Rock of the Glendale Police Department.

As the Glendale Free-Press reported, the four men arrested Tuesday are Makalle Womack and Sammy Hodges of Los Angeles, and Travis Bryant and Kevin Childs of Inglewood. The men range in age from 18 to 24. They allegedly led police on a high-speed chase on and off the Ventura Freeway, ultimately crashing into a parked car.

Capt. Rock told reporters that Glendale police now have undercover officers patrolling the area, particularly the upscale northeastern parts of the city.

“We are aggressively going to pursue you,” Rock said.