Suspects in an attempted Atwater home invasion were not just caught on camera they were also caught in the act.
“They pulled in and within a couple seconds the homeowner pulled in in his vehicle right behind them,” Atwater Police Det. Matt Vierra said Monday.
Video shows three men hop out of what Vierra believes is a Mitsubishi Montero. They head for a house on Sagewood Drive around 12:55 p.m. Saturday. The driver of the car backs up as the homeowner returns. The video then shows the three other suspects jump the fence onto the property before eventually jumping another fence and running.
“We’re running along the assumption they started scouting earlier in the day and this was a crime of opportunity,” Vierra said.
New footage shows a man believed to be one of the suspects knocking on the resident’s door about 10 minutes before the cars pull up. Police believe he was checking to see if anyone was home.
Vierra said there was a 14-year-old home at the time, but he did not answer the door. Neighbors said it’s generally a quiet area.
“No it’s never happened before. Nothing this sketch. I mean I’m not concerned, but it’s unfortunate. I mean it’s very close. Two doors down,” Michael Todd who lives nearby said.
Police said at least one of the suspects is believed to be a black male in his 30’s to 40’s. The other three are described as younger males in their late teens to early 20’s.
“It just seems like a larger group than we’re used to as far as burglaries. Pretty common you deal with one or two, but rarely do you have a group of four,” Vierra said.
Anyone with information about this crime can call the Atwater Police Department at (209) 357-6396 or contact the Merced Area Crimestoppers at 1-855-725-2420, or go to mercedareacrimestoppers.org to send anonymous information via text or email.