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Burglars loot Long Beach apartment building while tented for fumigation

Monday, May 21, 2012

Burglars broke into a Long Beach apartment building while it was being fumigated for termites. The burglars ransacked apartments at the building on Molino Street, taking everything from flat-screen TVs to jewelry and even underwear.

Residents had to leave the building for 24 hours while it was fumigated with chemicals. Every apartment in the building was broken into.

Morgan Kepler is one of the many tenants in the Long Beach apartment building who was burglarized this weekend while the building was under a fumigation tent.

Residents came home to find burglars had cut through tarps and window screens and targeted electronics, cash, jewelry, and strangely, women's undergarments.

"It's my favorite bra. It's such a personal invasion. It's really strange, honestly. I don't understand what would prompt someone to do that," said Kepler.

"All of my personals, personals personals, underwears and feminine things all over my room, which of course that exposes me or who I am to I don't know who, and so that was really scary," said resident Janice Brooks.

Employees at the family-owned fumigation company say they were victimized too, losing thousands of dollars in chemicals and tarps. They say they feel horrible for all the people whose homes were broken into.

Police won't comment on the case but have started an investigation.

"Jewelry is missing. Life savings are missing. TVs are missing. Makeup, bras, anything you can name, it's all gone," said Marcos Salazar, the building manager.

Shavonne Spann says she doesn't feel safe living here with her 3-year-old daughter anymore.

Besides stealing her flat-screen TV, laptop computers and other electronics, the burglars ransacked her entire bedroom and stole her jewelry and her life savings.

"It hurt so much," said Spann. "All I could do was cry. I slammed doors. I didn't want anybody looking at me. I just cried."

"It's such a personal violation. It's traumatizing, frankly," said Kepler. "The neighbors across the street, they had their children's pillowcases stolen so they could put loot in them. It's sad."

The property management company that runs the apartment building say they've contracted with fumigators for three decades and have never seen anything like this before, and they hope the burglars are caught.

If you have information related to the case, contact Long Beach Police at (562) 570-7351.

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Tags:
burglary, long beach, los angeles news, rudabeh shahbazi
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