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Deputies Search for RPV Laptop Bandit

The man has apparently targeted a Rancho Palos Verdes real estate office at least once and possibly five times.

Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department are looking for a man who stole multiple computers from a Rancho Palos Verdes real estate office over the course of several burglaries. 

Since May, the Keller Williams Real Estate office has been broken into five separate times and between seven and 10 computers have been stolen, according to Detective Randy Oviedo.

The first four times, a masked man gained entry to the offices either through the back door or by kicking in the front doors, Ovideo said. During the most recent burglary on Nov. 17, a man broke into the offices by punching a hole through the back wall and unlocking the door. 

This time around, the man was unmasked and in plain view of security cameras.

While Ovideo could not say with exact certainty that the burglaries were all done by the same person, he speculated that they might be related and tied to the unmasked man.

"The guy probably sees a lot of value in there with these laptops," Oviedo said. "It is kind of unusual to hit exactly the same spot that many times in that amount of time ... Usually a burglar will hit a spot, and they won't come back."

For real estate agent Linda D’Ambrosi, whose office has been targeted during each break in for its Apple computers, there is no doubt the burglaries were done by the same person.

"We know it is the same guy because even though he was really camouflaged, he was wearing the same shoes at all the break ins," D'Ambrosi said.

D'Ambrosi estimated that she had around $20,000 worth of equipment stolen from her office alone over the course of the five burglaries. Her partner's office also had approximately $20,000 worth of computers taken from it, D'Ambrosi said.

"(The burglar) uses my office, which has an Apple computer, as his little ATM ... his little candy store," D'Ambrosi said. "He comes in and basically withdraws money ... he takes it all."

D'Ambrosi said that she has literally bolted down her computer monitor to her desk and invested in a significant amount of security equipment in the hopes that the next break-in will be the man's last.

"Bring it on," D'Ambrosi said. "He is going to get a fistful of surprises when he comes in here next time ... I am laying and waiting for this guy.

"If he comes here still, he is really going to be a fool because, honestly, we have so much in place now that he isn't going to get out of here."

While D'Ambrosi was once used to working late nights in her office, she said she now fears for her safety while working late.

"I'm frightened to come here at night," D'Ambrosi said. "It is frightening because you never know what you are going to come into after you close your office up."

The burglar has been described by the sheriff's department as a 25- to 30-year-old Hispanic man with black hair. During the most recent break-in, the burglar was wearing a red jacket, blue jeans and black and white Converse All-Star shoes, according to a flyer released by the sheriff's department.

Anyone with any information on the burglaries or the culprit is asked to call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or text "TIPLA" with the tip to 27463.

Arthur R. Vinsel December 06, 2012 at 03:40 PM
A burglar is not a bandit, contrary to your headline. A bandit personally confronts a victim while armed with a weapon or the threat of force or use of force. Another hallmark of inexperience and amateurism in covering crime news is referring to jail as prison and prison to jail. There are distinct differences. Learn your terminology. .

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