Once they identify a house that looks empty, they send one person to knock on the door, Dunn said.
If no one responds, other gang members break through a side door or smash a window. If no alarm sounds, they head immediately to the master bedroom. In most cases, they are out of the homes within about three minutes and head back to South Los Angeles to pawn any stolen jewelry.
“They don’t take televisions or laptops or iPads,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Michael Maher, a member of the agency’s specialized burglary task force. “Typically it’s a hunt for cash, jewelry and weapons.”
The teams take care to look for houses that appear free of surveillance cameras or other security systems. If someone answers the door, they will say they are at the wrong house and just walk away, police said.
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