Neighbors in Rancho Santa Fe remained on edge Monday after a violent home invasion left the community reeling.
Residents in one home were tied up and held at gunpoint while four burglars ransacked their place inside an exclusive gated community with homes worth millions of dollars. Authorities are still searching for the culprits.
The intruders entered the home on Stonebridge Lane near San Elijo Lagoon Friday night, according to San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) Lt. Russell Shimmin. Deputies were alerted to the home invasion robbery at about 11 p.m.
Each man was wearing a mask and was armed with a gun. SDSO said it was not yet known what possessions were taken before the suspects took off in an unknown direction.
A few months ago, there was another home invasion robbery just a few blocks away. Last December, thieves took off with jewelry and irreplaceable family heirlooms from a house on El Mirlo.
In that case, two suspects were captured on surveillance video. One of them wore a headset apparently to communicate with the other. The suspects have not yet been caught but the video clearly displays one of their faces.
Sheriff's investigators are working to determine whether the two cases are related.
One neighbor who was robbed before in his home was particularly unnerved by the incident.
"It brought back some of those same kind of feelings where you just don't feel quite secure even in your own home," John Towart said.
In 2016, Towart and his wife were robbed in their Solana Beach home. Some of his personal property was recovered after the thieves were caught.
"You are absolutely violated. We had all of our drawers gone through, all the rooms were gone through in the house, with the exception of the master bedroom and we were in bed when they were here," Tolwart said.
One of the victims involved in Friday's incident told NBC 7 that everyone was safe, despite being shaken. As of Monday, the suspects remain at large.