A man whose security cameras caught a thief rummaging through his City Heights home found some of his precious stolen property moments before doing a live interview with NBC 7.
Last Friday as D.R. Peck walked into his home, he unknowingly interrupted the knife-wielding burglar. He believes the noise he made while dragging in his trash bins from the curb let the thief know someone was home.
Peck believes the burglar accessed his property from Manzanita Canyon, broke in, and exited the same route when he heard Peck coming.
Peck’s home is somewhat isolated. He calls the setting “urban privacy,” but it turns out it isn’t as private as he thought. He said likes to live with open doors, literally and figuratively, so the burglar didn't have much of a challenge getting inside.
Peck’s security camera shows the suspect hesitating to go inside, but once he did he made a run for it. Within 15 minutes, he is see walking out with a briefcase full of Peck’s belongings, including keepsakes that were once gifts to his late wife Wendy.
“Where the brief case was, was over here. These three shelves were completely cleaned out,” Peck said as he gave NBC 7 a mini tour of his ransacked home.
Some of the things taken include a comic book worth more than $1,000, some electronics, and, most importantly, a heart-shaped stone he gave to Wendy, who he said was his soulmate.
It’s a loss he has had a tough time getting through. Now he is dealing with the feeling of violation and loss all over again.
“I am not going to let this violation become a bigger violation,” Peck said.
He also said he won't let the experience change his lifestyle.
“I don't want to live in a prison. So, I will lock up all my valuables and kind of go back to my old lifestyle but I will leave a pad lock on that gate,” he said.
Late Tuesday, a woman strolling through the canyon told NBC 7 reporter Gaby Rodriguez she found what she thought was Peck’s missing suitcase. Rodriguez called to Peck and he ran over and confirmed that it was in fact his.
Though there were still some items missing from the suitcase, namely Wendy’s precious stone, Peck called the discovery a win and said he still has the valued mementos in his heart.
Peck says the missing comic book is rare and would stand out if it was taken to a pawn shop or comic book store. He said he’s already notified nearby stores about it.