Police say a security video may be the best evidence they have in a series of almost 20 burglaries across San Diego and Riverside Counties.
On Monday, NBC 7 obtained the images of the person of interest recorded through a doorbell camera in Escondido. Just 35 minutes later, the home across the street was burglarized in broad daylight.
A construction worker who was making repairs to the home came across the suspect, who was also armed with a gun. Police say the man then ran out of the home and took off in a silver Ford Explorer.
The man identified in the video is still being called a person of interest in the case at this time. But, Escondido police told NBC 7 that his appearance is similar to the suspects' descriptions in other reported burglaries.
“In comparing notes, we believe this may be the same person responsible for 19 residential burglaries,” Escondido Police Lt. Justin Murphy said.
Murphy says since the break-in at the Escondido home, detectives have met with law enforcement investigating burglaries in not just Escondido, but San Marcos, Vista, Carlsbad, Murietta and Riverside.
Witnesses in the 19 burglary cases have reported similar suspect descriptions and observed similar methods used to choose which house to burglarize.
“If there is somebody home, they'll ask for a generic name and an address that is very similar to the house they are at," said Murphy. "If the person says 'no, that is not my home' they'll say 'oh I’m sorry, wrong house', then they'll walk off and go to another location."
Murphy told NBC 7 that the suspect is going to great lengths to avoid coming into contact with homeowners but they are concerned after he pulled out a gun.
“The fact that he is carrying a firearm is a little unsettling for us,” Murphy said.
Police are asking for the public's help to put a name to the suspect's face. They say he is after small things, like jewelry, cash and firearms. He also uses stolen cars are getaway vehicles.