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A large group of car burglars were caught roaming the streets of a residential California neighborhood in the middle of the night earlier this month.
The group of about 10 people prowled through Antioch, California, in the wee hours of July 6, according to one resident who said he woke up and saw the group outside.
The car burglars wore hoodies and face coverings and walked down a street in Antioch’s Country Hills neighborhood, opening the doors of some of the cars, including Mike Allen’s girlfriend’s car, he said.
“When I seen [sic] them, I didn’t know what was happening, I was like ‘I hope they don’t try going through the garage.’ I wasn’t about to go out there myself; there was about 10 of them,” Allen told KRON.
“They broke into my girlfriend’s car,” Allen said. “She had her baby bag in the car. They went in there rummaging through everything. The following morning, I saw three other cars down the street that they did the same thing.”
Home security footage of the incidents appears to show one burglar rummaging inside a car parked in a driveway as others walk around the street in the background. Three burglars look through that car.
At least eight hooded figures can be seen in the security footage.
“It’s a pretty quiet neighborhood, this doesn’t really happen out here. You don’t think that gruesome madness would happen out here, but I guess it could happen anywhere,” Allen said.
Sgt. Price Kendall, a spokesperson for the Antioch Police Department, said an investigation was ongoing, according to the local report.
Kendall said it is “unusual” to see such a large group of people “looking into cars and walking the neighborhood.”
“It’s usually one or two people and there is a car associated. On this evening, it was just a large group of people wandering the neighborhood,” Kendall added.
Kendall also noted that the group seemed to be checking for unlocked car doors and avoiding breaking and entering the cars.
“These were definitely crimes of opportunity,” Kendall said. “Through one of the videos, you can see they were able to walk up to the car. The car was more than likely unlocked.”
Homes are estimated to sell for a median of about $651,000 in Antioch’s Country Hills neighborhood.
In the first six months of this year, Antioch had 827 larcenies, 405 car thefts, and 440 instances of vandalism, some of the most common crimes in the city, according to data from Antioch police.
Bigger California cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles have struggled in recent years with rising crime, drug use, and homelessness.
In Oakland, in the Bay Area, three suspects smashed as many as 20 car windows on a single morning in January.
In Los Angeles, homelessness is up 10% this year, according to the latest count, released last month. In the Bay Area, about 38,000 people are homeless on a given night, up 35% since 2019. Crime as well as open-air drug use often comes with the homeless issue, causing businesses to flee San Francisco’s downtown, where foot traffic has thinned.