San Diego

Tactical Military Gear Among Items Stolen in Series of Apartment Complex Garage Robberies

At least a dozen garages were broken into at a Chula Vista apartment complex Wednesday night.

Residents of Pinnacle at Otay Ranch Apartments say the burglar or burglars were in and out without a sound.

Maintenance has since added two steel plates to the locks on the garage doors that are designed to prevent break-ins.

A great many of the victims, or their spouses, are service members.

Navy Recruiter Jacqueline Allison and her daughter aren't moving in-- they're moving up.

"I’m starting to move all my expensive things upstairs,” Allison said.

Jacqueline was photographed with her neighbors outside Thursday morning after police arrived.

"On a monthly basis our rent is higher because we chose to have a garage to put our things,” she said.

Allison discovered her's and 11 other apartment garages in four buildings were burglarized.

Tactical military gear, a combat vest, bulletproof helmet, holster, and uniforms were stolen from Allison's garage.

“They might wear it, they might imitate a military member, so it does concern me," she said.

They also stole hunting bows and arrows.

One neighbor had photos of the hobby drones and remote controlled cars that were stolen from her garage.

"We didn't see or hear anything and our apartment is right above two garages that got broken in,” victim Herb Flanders said.

Flanders had antique toy trucks stolen, which were a gift from his father.

"My dad had them and I have no idea of the value because they are 20 or 30 years old," Flanders said. “Supposedly these are luxury apartments and, you know, there’s not a lot of crime in this area.”

Police verify that in each case the burglar or burglars used a device to pry the deadbolt locks on the doors leading to each garage. None of those doors lead to the living space, and all are at the ground level.

For now, Allison and her neighbors aren't taking chances. It may belong in the garage, but until they feel safe it's going in the living room.

Chula Vista Police are hoping to get a lead from some of the physical evidence collected.

Besides fingerprinting the locks themselves, a glove and screwdriver stolen from one garage were used to break into another and then left behind.

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