Why We Carry: Southern California Seeing Increase In ‘Dinnertime Home Invasions’

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY, CALIFORNIA — Residents are increasingly concerned about a recent rise in “dinnertime burglaries,” with several incidents reported where intruders broke into homes between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. In some cases, residents were at home during these break-ins. One victim, Tim Gaspar, experienced a break-in at his Woodland Hills home, finding his back door shattered, rooms ransacked, and valuables including jewelry stolen. His security cameras were destroyed, and his German Shepherd was pepper-sprayed. Despite the burglars breaking into his gun safes, they didn’t take any firearms.

Gaspar noted the close timing of his return home and the power cut to his cameras, suggesting they narrowly missed encountering the burglars. Similar incidents were reported in Sherman Oaks, where a home was invaded by several masked men, and in Woodland Hills, where an elderly couple’s home was forcibly entered.

The pattern of these break-ins occurring during typical dinnertime hours when residents are presumed to be out has been noted, but the Los Angeles Police Department has not yet confirmed if this constitutes a trend. Gaspar’s own research into LAPD’s crime data showed numerous break-ins during evening hours but also at various times throughout the day, indicating a broader issue of opportunistic crime.

In response to these events, Gaspar plans to enhance his home security and stresses the importance of community vigilance, encouraging neighbors to communicate and watch out for each other to prevent future incidents.

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