Resident warns of possible home burglary scam

By R. Alavarez, a resident of East Palmdale

I see there have been many burglaries in my area, and I would like to share what happened at my house last night (Sept. 4).

I live on the 2200 block of East Avenue R12. I have two front doors, a wood [door] and a metal door to look through.

I was falling asleep and forgot to leave the porch lights on [last night], when someone rang my doorbell.

As I came downstairs in my dark home, I realized none of my lights were on.

I shouted out, ‘Who’s there?’ and I heard a soft voice say, ‘Your neighbor.’

I turned on the porch light and opened the door. Standing [there] is a female saying she is my neighbor and she needs matches to light her stove!  It was too strange that she would ring the doorbell on a pitch black home to ask for matches.

This was not my neighbor, repeat NOT my neighbor!  I’ve been living here for many years and I am pretty familiar with ALL my neighbors.

My mistake was turning around to get the matches from my kitchen. I left my door open to grab them, and when I returned to the door, a guy was walking up the pathway to be with the girl.

I handed her the matches, locked my metal door and spoke to her through it. I asked her which house they moved into, because I’ve never seen them before in my life. She pointed at a house, which I knew for a fact they didn’t live in.

I immediately called the sheriffs to report the strange and suspicious activity, and the female who answered the phone stated she couldn’t get a patrol car out for a few hours. That’s right, HOURS!

I could not even sleep last night. I do not know what this town is coming too, but when we report these things, one would think that they would be on top of it. But, no…

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The AV Times.

Email to submit a story to Your Issues | Your News.

Editor’s note: The Palmdale Sheriff’s Station has offered burglary prevention tips, along with a breakdown of recent home burglaries within the Palmdale area. Read it here.


  59 comments for “Resident warns of possible home burglary scam

  1. Chrlrss
    September 7, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Used to feel safe where we are because every morning we would have at least 6 sheriff cars sitting at Primos (orig location on Valley Central) for a couple of hours. All we had to do is look down the street to see them all sitting there.
    Then there was the CHP officer around the corner that would come home every morning & just hang out all day so his patrol car was parked right there (always did have the best illegal firework display).
    Now we just rely on ourselves & our neighbors to keep an eye on each other & protect ourselves. Many things can be stationed around the house.
    Noticed the latest thing is to have someone knock on our door asking for help but they always seem to live on “the next street over”.

  2. Jesse Lopez
    September 6, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Mr. Alvarez,
    Don’t be upset withe LASD just because they didn’t respond to your call.
    YOUR CALL WAS NOT CONSIDERED AN EMERGENCY BECAUSE YOU LIFE WAS NOT IN JEOPARDY, compared to the other call received about the same time on Sep 4th when all the Officers on duty responded to the shooting of the little Girl by the THREE GANGSTERS in Palmdale.
    I am NOT A COP, and I am not excusing them either, but is common sense.

    I am Glad you Didn’t get hurt.

  3. dumbandblind
    September 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Never answer the door at night without the company of Mr. Smith and Wesson, Sturm Ruger or Winchester.

  4. erika
    September 6, 2013 at 8:06 am

    I couldnt agree more with you!!!! Hours. Wow I have the same thing done to me accept my house got broken into and they couldnt come for a couple hours wow!!!

  5. Forewarned
    September 6, 2013 at 6:57 am

    In our Westside ‘hood we get a lot of solicitors so I typed up in BIG bold red letters: “No Solicitors” and attached it to our doorbell. It works! No more solicitors! I also have a sign
    (which you can buy online) that says we’re a Neighborhood Watch (even though we aren’t) taped to our front window and a sign that says “Beware of dogs” (even though our dogs wouldn’t hurt a fly). My neighbors have “Home Security” signs…some real…some fake that you can buy online to put in your front yard that I’m seriously considering buying too. You can’t always count on the Sheriffs to protect you so you got to protect yourself…and I have.

    • Gemini
      September 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      I have a sign that I made that says “If I don’t know you’re coming, I’m not answering the door”. Our family and friends know enough to phone first.

  6. ABK
    September 5, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story, I think it serves as a good reminder about how easy it is for a “bad guy or gal” to take advantage of innocent people. I also think that there were many great tips shared in the responses, such as holding a neighborhood watch meeting to raise everyone’s awareness about what is going on and how you can take action to make your home a “harder target”. I picked up that term at my own recent Watch meeting! along with many other great tips and a renewed sense of shared responsibility among my neighbors to be alert to this incredible burglary trend impacting our community. I can understand why you were shocked by the response that it would be a couple of hours, but I think several people made legitimate points that although the behavior was definitely suspicious the reality is that ringing a doorbell and telling a lie is not a crime (I don’t disagree with your assessment that they were obviously up to no good) so it is handled as a non-emergent call. Response time is dictated by a lot of different variables, sometimes you can be lucky and have a really quick response, other times it can be hours. If you were unhappy with the dispatcher’s response did you ask to speak to the Watch Commander? While dispatch is answering non-stop calls they generally don’t have time to spend on the phone with you, but the Watch Commander is the Lieutenant who is overseeing everything that is occurring, you can always ask them to provide you with more information as to why patrol is going to be delayed. They will actually check and give you a response, maybe not the one we all want, which is to feel that a Deputy is always around the corner and can respond to all issues quickly, but it does give you an opportunity to gain a better understanding. If the Lt. determines that the call can be handled differently they will take care of it for you. I try to take the approach that if I am unhappy with a service, regardless of the agency, I bring it to their attention and give them the opportunity to correct or improve it. Also, I noticed there was a fair share of concerns about the general response from LASD, if you feel that your complaint will not “go anywhere” by reporting it to the Lt., I encourage you to attend the Palmdale Station’s Community Advisory Committee (CAC) Town Hall meeting on September 9th, 6 pm at the new charter school at 37th St E & Ave S (sorry, I can’t recall the schools name?). Bring your concerns to their attention. The way I understand it, these members are supposed to be representing the community working with the Station to address community concerns. They don’t investigate “incidents” but they are there to help our voices be stronger and they push for accountability. One last item, even though the response was disappointing, you did the right thing by calling it in. Yes, they talked about the importance of calling and reporting all crimes and suspicious activity at our Watch meeting.

    • Kaydee
      September 6, 2013 at 1:14 am

      I thought the commander was the Captain. Is Captain Nelson the watch commander for Lancaster or Palmdale? He seems nice enough, but some of the others are very short with you. I went into the Lancaster branch a couple months backs to make an ID theft report and a very old gentleman (who seem too old to be a sheriff) told me to go home and call the station if I wanted faster service. So I am already here to make my report, but I must go home and call you to have someone come to me? When I asked him why a deputy can’t just take my report since I am already here he was short with me.

      • ABK
        September 6, 2013 at 11:02 am

        The titles can be a little confusing. The Captain of a Station is often referred to as the “Commander” and he ultimately responsible for the entire station, so Captain Nelson is not the Watch Commander, he’s the “top dog” at the station :-) Because law enforcement is a 24/7 operation for every shift there are a lot of different Lieutenants and Sergeants responsible for different areas. Regarding the “Watch Commander, this is a Lieutenant who has the sole responsibility for the operations end of the station (deputies in the field, desk operations, etc), this position is referred to as the “Watch Commander”. This position keeps track of all the calls for service coming in, walk-in’s, is reviewing & approving reports, monitors more serious situations occurring in the field, handles complaints, etc. during that shift, so if you are not happy with a response (regardless if it is a deputy or front desk personnel), the best thing you can do it ask to speak to the Watch Commander for clarification, if necessary file a complaint. In respect to having a report taken at the Station, most stations do not have a Deputy assigned to the station to take a report, they are all assigned in the field. Most of the personnel working the “desk” are civilian and are not able to take the report, besides with the high call volume even if it is a Deputy working the desk they cannot be pulled away from the phones/911. That is why they told you to go home, so a patrol deputy assigned to work in the general area of your home can be dispatched to your home to take the report. Report calls are very low priority in terms of how they respond and it can often take hours, wouldn’t you rather wait in the comfort of your own home than sitting at the station waiting for a Deputy to respond in from the field? They can’t prioritize the call faster if you are waiting at the station. Most stations use civilian volunteers to work their “counters” to answer basic questions for folks walking in, I expect that you spoke with a station volunteer when you stopped in asking for a report.

        • Nancy P
          September 6, 2013 at 12:24 pm

          Although you had a very long answer filled with explanations and excuses, it doesn’t answer the question, “If a citizen takes the time to drive to the station to make a report, why can’t one of the people there take that report”?
          Report calls are a low priority, seems like calls regarding fights (in progress)are also low priority even if the personnel at the station hears the fight in the back ground.
          When a handcuffed person in custody escapes from a deputy, why is it that 25+ black and whites can show up within minutes, as well as many unmarked police cars?
          The “would be” home burglary people in this story could possible be the people responsible for many or all of the home burglaries in that area. Their description fits the couple who broke into a house in my neighborhood when Mr. R’s daughter was home.

          • cgg
            September 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm

            I’m sorry Nancy but, it’s not an excuse, ABK is just stating a fact. There are NO deputies assigned to the station to take reports.

          • Nancy P
            September 7, 2013 at 10:10 am

            I realize ABK was stating a fact. Exactly the point I was making. Why isn’t one of the Deputies, who is already AT the station, scanning FB or whatever else they are all doing “behind the window”, come out and take a report.

            In reference to someone car being stolen, I would think having the description and license plate of the car put out immediately would aid in apprehending the car thief and recovering the car. 2 hours later, the car may already be on it’s way to Mexico (or Oregon) or some chop shop or used in a crime. Sure, owners have insurance, and rates keep going up and up do to crimes (other factors too). How about getting ahead of the crime instead of 2 hours behind.

            There is not a child murder every night in Lancaster or Palmdale, so where are the Deputies all night long? They don’t respond to “illegal” fireworks calls, physical fight calls, loud music and drinking party calls with underage kids, recycle thief calls, stranger in the neighborhood calls. We are told they are all on emergencies elsewhere. Then you hear from a neighbor about 4 or 5 LASD cars sitting in the parking lot of some restaurant down the street.

            Believe it or not, I support the LASD, however I wish they had a little more respect for citizen concerns.

      • Gemini
        September 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm

        My husband, a retired cop, told me the ones that are behind the desk are there because of their attitudes and they can’t make it out on the street. They’re just not cut out to work with the public in a civilized manner. So, they get to keep their jobs and be a-0’s inside.

        I certainly wouldn’t consider them police officers, just bullies. I’ve been in both stations and some of them are mean. Their faces would crack if they smiled!

  7. Rose
    September 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    My car was stolen .. And the AV sheriffs took 8 hours …

    • AVer
      September 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      IF they showed up in 30 seconds, your car was still stolen and gone, right? And its just property. Your insurance company will pay for your loss, if you had insurance. Priorities! If I had a life or death emergency I phoned in at the same time you were phoning in your stolen car report, I would hope the deputies would respond to my call first.

  8. Dee
    September 5, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    One more thing I read and passed on to my friends & family is to keep ”WASP SPRAY” near your doors or even your bedroom.. It shoots about 5-15 ft. and would be just as good as ”Mace” .. It contains some pretty potent chemical too, it shoots out like a ”foam”…. Just a tidbit to think about if you don’t own weapons for your defense , or even if you do, maybe there might not be enough time to get to them…..

    • S. Silva
      September 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      It’s better to use pepper spray. It’s illegal to use bug spray for anything other than it’s intended use. I know, it’s stupid, but you don’t want some scum bag waste of skin suing you because you wasp sprayed him.

      • sikntired
        September 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm

        Say what? He’s in your home illegally and you’re worried about him suing? Get real.
        “Wasp spray was all I had Officer, I thought he was going to (kill,rape, torture me and my family.”
        Wasp spray comes out in a stream so you, the victim, don’t have to breathe it. Then there’s oven cleaner, whatever works.

        • S. Silva
          September 8, 2013 at 9:40 am

          If that was all I had, I’d use it. I’m just saying keep stuff around that’s legal to use!!! I have pepper spray, AND a shotgun LOADED.

          • Marilyn Monroe
            September 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm

            @ S. Silva. Inside pitbulls, a pellet gun, and a bat work great too! Standing inside the security door, cocking an unloaded shotgun, for some reason, makes “creepers” take off running. Just the sound of it makes them tuck their butts under as they run down the street.

  9. Michelle
    September 5, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I live in a “safe” AV area and even we have crime: car break ins (don’t leave your car unlocked or valuables in your car), stuff stolen from the yard (get a big, mean dog or at least one that looks mean), random people knocking on your door (politely ask them if they all their shots and/or are ok with tigers). Lock your doors and windows (I know, it’s hotter than the sun right now so make an informed choice based on where you live) and be armed and ready to use your weapon of choice (mine are a crossbow and a 2 headed Viking axe~there’s a lot to be said for the surprise! I’m going to split your head open with an axe approach). I’m not trying to be flippant or funny, I just know that I have to take care of myself, my family and my property and I just can’t rely on the police and their response time (especially where I live).

    • sikntired
      September 5, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      Girlfriend,I will never break in to your house.Ouch….a Viking axe and a crossbow, talk about going medieval, gotta love it.

    • qhr
      September 5, 2013 at 9:24 pm


    • AVGirl
      September 6, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      We make it a habit to practice our sword fighting in the front yard every few months. Nobody has ever bothered us. Also our dogs make a lot of noise if anyone comes to the door. it might be annoying but it is a great alarm.

      • jujutsu4life
        September 6, 2013 at 9:40 pm

        Sword fighting? Do you train in any sword arts?

  10. Dee
    September 5, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    That’s an ”all too often” occurance in the city these days.. Even during the daytime hours, there are some pretty ”unsavory” people will to do harm to others… I live in the ”unincorporated” area of L.A. County… I have ”Security Doors” on both front and back doors and keep a ”shotgun” (unloaded) near the front door, but shells close by, just in case I’m threatened…The best ”alarm system” is a DOG… Out here, everyone has a ”gun and a dog” for protection, since many are Seniors living alone! One time I heard what I thought were gun shots, so when I called the Sheriff’s office I said ”Shots Fired”… they were here pretty quick then… We have ”57 miles of Gigglyweed” in the A.V. and not enough Officers to cover such a large area, so in the meantime, PROTECT YOURSELF any way you can…

  11. Cheri
    September 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I have lived in the Antelope Valley for 26 years and I have seen a very sad decline. We do not have enough Deputies to cover the population and nobody wants to pay that extra few dollars in taxes to cover it. Our Deputies are spending so much time having to cover gangs, drugs, domestic violence, home invasions ect, ect, ect. For all of you that think they are doing nothing, turn on a scanner and listen to the hundreds of calls everyday. I have the utmost respect for our Deputies but I also know they can’t be everywhere all the time that’s why I have a security system and permitted guns.

  12. Gemini
    September 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Glad you and your family are ok. It is believable how this valley has changed, not unbelievable. People are out of work and just don’t care if they steal. Keep a few extinguisher at every door and use it!
    Two teenagers were watching my house after my husband left in his car. They came to my door and asked to use the restroom. Of course I said no. I called my husband and he came back and patrolled our neighborhood but the were gone. I called Pamdale police, not 911. Nothing they could do but showed up later.
    Keep whatever weapons you can get near your doors. What I’m scared of is that if they’re on the side of my house when I get out of my car!

    • Gemini
      September 5, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      OOPS….I meant fire extinguishers!!

  13. les
    September 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    This is a common ploy that happens all over, not just in the AV. I learned this when we had a neighborhood watch meeting on our street. We live on the east side of Palmdale and we haven’t had any real trouble since starting our group. We had a deputy and a person from the city come out and talk to us. We all felt we got some good information that has helped us keep our neighborhood safer. I also am going to rely on me to protect my family and home because I know the reality of the Sheriff’s departments ability to respond.

  14. [removed]
    September 5, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I have had no problems with the sheriffs responding with great speed. It doesn’t matter what I report, they are here within minutes of my calls. I make have to make quiet a few calls as I work in property management and have to call for residents.
    But going back to the story, thanks for sharing this. My parents in Quartz Hills were also approached in the middle of the night. It was Monday Sept. 2nd. By the time my Mom got downstairs to the front door, they had already left. This is not funny, not only could she of fallen down the stairs, she could of had a heart attack.
    Problem is how do the sheriffs address this? No crime has been committed and there aren’t any perpetrators to be found? Of course as victims we see it elsewise….as sheriffs they see it as a nuisance call. We should all be investing in some sort of security systems or patrol companies. I know that’s a bit extreme but if we can afford it, it’s a wise investment on our safety and valuables. Most our peace of mind.

  15. gary
    September 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I’ve called the cop’s many times and the response time has varied. My advice is own a gun and learn to use it. Obviously you cant shoot someone for being suspicious but what if they had forced their way in? Its doesn’t matter what the response time is cause it only takes a second to be invaded and killed.

    • sikntired
      September 5, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      Right you are Gary.There are several places here who offer classes in gun handling and safety.You have to sit down and think what you will do in various scenarios.
      I certainly don’t want to kill anyone but I know that might be necessary when someone invades my home.
      I most certainly do not intend to be a victim.

  16. kara
    September 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I called a few months ago about to young men fighting behind my house. One guy threatened the other guy with a gun. The dispatcher asked me if I saw the gun I said no. They did jot send anyone and ten minutes later I heard gunshots. Ten cop cars and an suv showed up. One guy had shot the other guys dog he was walking.

  17. d
    September 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    You all right I reported knifes an tazer guns an about 10 gang members fighting took 45 mins to come

  18. Nancy P
    September 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    This story sounds like something that has happened repeatedly in our neighborhood in West Lancaster. The cops can never be here in less than a few hours. There is always other emergencies. There is no sense of urgency on LASD part unless it is their own agenda. The non-emergency response time is a joke. If every Deputy is responding to the same emergency and then all stand around for another hour for debriefing, no other calls are handled.

    • trying to get by..
      September 5, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      Agree with you Nancy 100%… as I said before…
      What was going on that it would be hours before the police could get there?? Did they ever come??? What if, WHEN they got there they found the person DEAD???
      So the following from above article says..
      Editor’s note: The Palmdale Sheriff’s Station has offered burglary prevention tips…

      I guess what they are really saying is…your on your own for the next few hours until we get around to getting there…what a Shabby cop shop Palmdale…

      • sikntired
        September 5, 2013 at 6:52 pm

        Doggone, dammed if they do, dammed if they don’t.

  19. john Howard
    September 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    If you lived in Lancaster LEAPS would have been there in 2 minutes.. I’m sorry you live in Palmdale. You should talk to your Mayor and ask him how his kind nature, smiles and handshakes are going to protect his community. Then consider moving to another community.
    Let’s get honest for a minute and realize that:
    1. No crime was committed here
    2. There are hundreds of calls a night made to each local LASD station
    3. Unless you file a report it will not get its necessary consideration
    4. If every call warranted a deputy visit there wouldn’t enough deputies to go around
    5. Not all calls are even put into the system for follow up

    At the same time educating the community about this kind of activity is extremely important so thank you for sharing your story. I will be sure to inform my family who live in the area of this.. We’ll reduce the amount we are feeding our rottweiler in preparation..

    • Nancy P
      September 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      It’s not a matter of the Deputies racing to this persons house. If a car had just been dispatched to patrol the area and driven by slowly, that probably would have made the resident feel more secure and better about security issues.

    • William
      September 5, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      Oh, John. No one is gonna move from Palmdale to Lancaster as a result of reading your comment.

      Nice try. It has to do with ‘frying pans’ and ‘fires’.

      • sikntired
        September 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm

        Is John really “you know who ”, the mayor of Lancaster?
        Seriously do not open your door to strangers.The bad guys know most of us want to be kind and helpful and will u
        se it against us.
        LASD has their hands full, and they come after the fact.

    • Kizzy
      September 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      @john… I live in Palmdale I was in lancaster for few years too and lancaster is no better than Palmdale. Same crime same antelope valley. Oh about our mayor you sound like your just like your mayor, jealous..I guess you might be special that you don’t need the help.. And about making a report after the incident it will still be the same no actions will be taken.. Because they are too busy.

    • boandre
      September 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      Ask your mayor how him worrying about sparklers blowing up palmdale is helping the city of compcaster since you live in such a safe place thanks to leaps im just saying lol

      • Kizzy
        September 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm

        Lol… All you lancaster residents are so jelous… Hahaha
        No comment.

  20. Trying to get by...
    September 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    So what was going on that it would be hours before the police could get there?? Did they ever come??? What if, WHEN they got there they found the person DEAD???
    So the following from above article says..
    Editor’s note: The Palmdale Sheriff’s Station has offered burglary prevention tips…
    I guess what they are really saying is…your on your own for the next few hours until we get around to getting there…what a Shabby cop shop Palmdale…

    • Jim
      September 5, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      Go on a ride along in the evening and see how busy they are.

    • sikntired
      September 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      Do you expect them to park at the end of your street ? you have to be responsible for your own safety,this is one of the busiest and largest areas in L.A County.

  21. Kaydee
    September 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm


    • Kaydee
      September 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm


    • Kizzy
      September 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      I never open the door unless is my family or friends I know,
      All solicitors could keep ringing the door or leave business cards.
      OH and about calling the police it really doesn’t work.. By the time you ended up the interview over the phone your probably be dead.. I have call around 3am I heard a car crash against the edison box all the power went off.. They ask how many people you saw… Really I was inside my house when this happen and call.. Wow sorry to say it but the 911 and police sometimes are no help.

    • Nancy P
      September 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      Don’t open the door to strangers. That’s good advice. However, don’t pretend like you’re not home or the people who WERE knocking, may go around back and kick a door or window in. Say in your OUTDOOR voice, “I don’t open the door to strangers. Do you need me to call 911 for you?” The people at your door will leave. People need to remember, the strangers are NOT your friend and they are not bringing you money. They want to take your money and your belongings and maybe your life!

      • Jack
        September 6, 2013 at 10:15 am

        Good Advice…Very well put.

      • S. Silva
        September 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm

        Great advice! I always let them know I’m home, but I love the “call 911” part!

      • Kizzy
        September 7, 2013 at 9:24 pm

        Nice. Advice.. I will do that.

Comments are closed.