San Diego

CVPD Says Thieves Broke into at Least 20 Apartment Complex Garages Within 7 Days with Same M.O.

For the third time in a week, residents of the Pinnacle at Otay Ranch Apartments woke up to find their garages had been broken into and some of their valuables had been stolen.

The series started last Tuesday night or Wednesday morning when burglars pried the deadbolts on 11 detached garages at the luxury living complex.

Police say the thieves gained entry into at least two more garages overnight Monday, and at least seven more overnight Tuesday, using the same method.

Residents say the burglars were in and out without a sound, and police didn't have any leads on potential suspects in any of the burglaries until Wednesday morning.

Orissa Allen entered her garage to find a bag of her military husband's paintball equipment scattered across the floor.

The security camera positioned in the rear of the garage above the door never picked up an image of burglars who were out of the frame, but it did record whispers from what sounded like two younger men.

"You could hear them talking and rummaging and whispering to each other, like 'Look in there,' or something of that nature," Allen said.

Included in the bag of paintball equipment were a tactical vest and protective headwear with colored material similar to gear used in the military -- a color that a thief looking specifically for tactical military gear might be drawn to. 

The Allens believe the burglars also checked out a bulletproof vest in the garage but didn't take it.

Last week, Navy Recruiter Jacqueline Allison had tactical military gear, including a combat vest, bulletproof helmet, holster, and uniforms stolen from her garage.

She told NBC 7 she was concerned that someone could potentially try and imitate a service member with the gear.

Chula Vista police said a loaded pistol magazine and Gatorade bottle left behind in Allen's garage might help them track down the suspects and missing property.

Among other known items stolen from complex residents were a surround sound system, projector, amplifier, antique toy trucks, emergency seizure medication and paperwork with personal information.

Investigators also found a glove and screwdriver stolen from a garage in the first hit that was used to break into at least one other unit that night.

CVPD is also asking for help from the public in finding the person or people responsible for the crimes.

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