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Burglary is foiled by local woman

Descanso Drive resident catches thieves in the act. Two arrested, stolen goods recovered.

December 15, 2010|By Joe Piasecki, joe.piasecki@latimes.com

A woman who arrived home Tuesday morning to find a strange man in her driveway made all the right moves in forcing two suspected burglars to flee the scene while providing investigators with enough information to make arrests later that day.

Pasadena resident Ricardo Lopez, 19, was arrested Tuesday at his Pasadena apartment and booked on suspicion of burglary and assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly ramming the victim's car as he fled the scene.

A 17-year-old suspected accomplice was nabbed on Foothill Boulevard minutes after fleeing the scene on foot.

At around 10:45 a.m., a 54-year-old woman returning to her home in the 1200 block of Descanso Drive noticed a strange man and unfamiliar blue pick-up truck backed into her driveway and called 911, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station.

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Dashing into the truck, the man accelerated toward the victim's car — scraping its passenger side as it passed on the driveway — and sped eastbound on Descanso Drive.

Unhurt, the resident recorded the license plate number of the truck, which deputies tracked to an apartment in the 400 block of Marengo Avenue in Pasadena, where Lopez, the truck and items stolen from the home— including four laptop computers and small electronics — were located within the hour.

"She did the right thing by getting on her phone immediately, recognizing suspicious behavior but not going ahead to put herself in harm's way to investigate the incident," said Sgt. Ray Harley. "She didn't panic. She called 911 and had the presence of mind despite all this to get the license plate of that truck, which was instrumental to us in catching one of the suspects."

After reporting the crime in progress, the resident discovered her home ransacked and the wiring for two big-screen televisions partially disconnected.

A gardener working in the neighborhood told deputies he saw a young man running away from the house through backyards, leading to the minor's arrest on the 200 block of Foothill. The boy was charged with residential burglary and is being held at Barry J. Nidorff Juvenile Hall in Sylmar.

Lopez is currently being held on $50,000 bond at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station.

Detectives are investigating whether the two may be connected to other recent crimes in the area.

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