• Since May 2021, a series of high-end residential burglaries have taken place in the 4S Ranch, Rancho
      Santa Fe and north Poway communities. These burglaries share many similarities, unique to a specific
      group of organized burglary suspects.

      As result of our investigations, the Sheriff’s Poway Station has identified and wants to share these
      consistencies, behaviors and common characteristics, with hopes of helping prevent future victims.

      Below is not an exhaustive list but some common practices observed:
      ➢ There is currently NO EVIDENCE these suspects have been armed, and to this point, no one has
      been confronted or detained by suspects in this crime group.
      ➢ These suspects are highly organized, skilled and appear to have collective training. They operate
      in groups, often teams of four, with three suspects doing the burglary and the fourth as a
      “getaway driver.”
      ➢ The burglaries generally take place within the first few hours after nightfall
      ➢ All suspects appear to be male and all wear long pants, long sleeve hooded sweatshirts, masks
      and gloves.
      ➢ The suspects target homes that abut a greenbelt, golf course or hiking trail and have been seen
      walking along the back of homes looking for one that appears to be unoccupied (no interior
      lights or residents seen).
      ➢ Once in the back yard of a targeted home, the suspects further attempt to verify no one is
      home. Numerous videos have captured the suspects leaving a yard if they observe someone
      ➢ Knowing most home alarms are only active on the first floor, they prefer to make entry via a
      second-floor balcony. The suspects have utilized patio furniture, ladders and even scaled walls
      to gain access to the second story. Single-story homes have also been targeted though.
      ➢ The suspects often break a glass door to gain entry, since many homes are not equipped with
      glass break sensors on doors. If you have an existing alarm, we encourage the public consider
      adding glass break sensors for further “target hardening.”
      ➢ The suspects target the master bedroom and closet areas, looking for high end jewelry,
      handbags, cash, and watches. They have also targeted safes and office areas looking for small
      valuables and cash.
      ➢ Home video surveillance camera systems do not deter the suspects and they will often turn the
      cameras away
      ➢ These burglaries occur quickly, typically just a few minutes. The suspects have typically fled the
      same way they made entry.
      ➢ When confronted by homeowners, the suspects have run away.

      Action’s homeowners can do to reduce their chance of becoming a victim:

      • If you have an alarm system, set it every time you leave your home.
      • Consider updating your alarm system and adding second floor motion sensors (master bedroom) and glass break sensors to areas with large windows or glass doors.
      • Install an audible alarm loud enough not only cause discomfort to someone inside the home, but also easily heard outside by neighbors. Consider adding a second siren near a soffit vent in your attic area. Suspects have run from homes immediately when alarm systems were activated.
      • If you use camera systems capable of sending “motion” notifications to your smartphone, ensure they are set up. In at least one case a victim called police/sheriff directly to notify of the burglary in-progress.
      • When you leave your home, consider making it appear occupied. Leave on an interior light or television. Consider using “smart lights” to make it appear someone is home.
      • If away on vacation, let your neighbors know. Contact your local Sheriff’s Station to schedule vacation checks, a service provided by our SVP volunteers. Also, store valuables in a large safe or a bank security boxes while away for periods of time.
      • If you see something that doesn’t look right, call law enforcement and report it immediately. If you see any suspicious groups walking greenbelts, hiking/walking trail or golf course in the early evening hours who match the above suspect description, please call 9-11 immediately!

      Media Contact:

      Deputy Justin Cole


      Poway Sheriff’s Station (858) 513-2850