San Diego

Man Caught on Camera Walking Away with Homeowner's Tools

A City Heights homeowner is out nearly $1,000 after an intruder broke into his yard and stole his tools, but it’s his family’s safety and security that has him most concerned.

Pierre Bonilla and his girlfriend bought into the neighborhood near the intersection of Orange Avenue and 45th Street knowing their home was a bit of a fixer-upper, but they’re hoping it’s a good investment.

Bonilla invested in multiple security measures – cameras, signs and combination locks at every door -- but after this latest incident, he worries the extra protection isn’t enough to keep his family safe.

A camera positioned on Bonilla’s front door was rolling Monday morning when a man attempted to open the gate to his front yard. Unsuccessful, he went around to a side entrance that was easier to manage and approached the front door. Just on the other side, his 8-year-old daughter was asleep on the sofa.

"If for some reason the door was left open, lord knows what would happen if he were to get in here,” Bonilla said. “For my own family's safety or his safety."

After several minutes fumbling with the front door, the man he went through another gate to the patio.

A camera positioned on that side of the home caught the man as he went on an unintelligible rant.

“That was very bizarre because he definitely didn't try to cover his face. He was speaking to the camera in the doorway as if he belonged here,” Bonilla said. “I don't know if he is dangerous or not. I don't know what he is carrying on him."

The man fumbled again with the side door to Bonilla’s home, but was denied entry. So he settled for a wheeled cart loaded with $900 worth of power tools that Bonilla had on his patio.

He walked out of the patio wheeling the tools behind him. But instead of running off with the tools, he went back to the front door once more.

Camera footage shows the man spent a total of 35 minutes at Bonilla’s home before making a slow and lumbering escape.

Bonilla’s home does have a bit of a storied past. Police told him that before his remodel, his house was home to squatters. There were many transients and lots of drug activity on the corner nearby.

Bonilla said he’s shared the video and information with his neighbors but, so far, no one recognizes the man in the footage. Police say they have found stolen tools in a nearby canyon but they have yet to verify their owner.

No other information was available.

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