Matt Hartman and his wife left their Silver Lake apartment on Thursday afternoon for a New Year’s holiday getaway to Palm Springs. But only a few hours after arriving in the desert resort, Hartman got a call from a neighbor saying the back door to the couple’s Silver Lake duplex had been left open. Hartman quickly turned on his laptop computer to check footage from four outdoor surveillance cameras on the property. What he saw on his laptop screen from Palm Springs were images of a diligent burglar who had entered his Silver Lake home only hours earlier.
The man entered the second-floor apartment near Effie Street and Lucile Avenue on Dec. 30 at about noon after he watched the couple and their downstairs neighbors leave their apartments Hartman said. The burglar jumped a fence into the backyard of the duplex and took his time, looking through mail boxes and under floor mats. Hartman describes the rest via email:
“Then he tried every door, window and crawl space … you name it, he tried it. Then he proceeded up a spiral staircase towards the back of our place then found our sliding glass door that leads into our bedroom … that was unlocked.”
“It was frightening to look at,” Hartman said of the video, which he watched only a few hours after break-in. The burglar, who appeared to be a Latino or African American male in his late 30s or 40s with a medium build, spent about 45 minutes on the property. Hartman said the man stole his wife’s jewelry, including her engagement ring, a laptop as well as a bike with two flat tires.
Hartman and his wife, who spent only a few hours in Palm Springs before returning home to Silver Lake, have given copies of the camera footage to police.