Burglars eye families with kids, break into homes

Posted at 7:19 PM, Jul 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-20 22:19:11-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Burglars raided two homes in two hours on the same block in El Cerrito on Thursday morning.

For Patricia Watson, it started with a day of fun.  Around 9 a.m., Watson and her family - including her three children, a toddler in tow - headed to Balboa Park.  They returned to their home on Spartan Drive a few hours later and found the home ransacked.  A back bedroom window was shattered.

"The bedrooms, like a bomb went off.  Every drawer, every bin emptied," said Watson.

Amid the mess: thousands of dollars worth of missing electronics, her son's collection of Disney pins and dozens of pieces of jewelry.

"One of the pieces was a gold class ring belonging to my mother...a family heirloom. It's irreplaceable," said Watson.

Also stolen were tax documents and social security cards.

"It's just the violation, then the loss, and then the fear," said a tearful Watson.

Watson is not alone with those fears.  Her neighbor's home a few doors down was also hit that same morning. The back window was smashed.  Electronics and documents with personal information were also taken.  There was another similarity.  That neighbor, a mother of a 4-year-old, had put her daughter in the car that morning.

"I think they watched us go, assumed they had about an hour ... loading up kids ... a family is not going to be gone for 15 minutes," said Watson.

Neighbors say they spotted two men lurking in the area that morning.  Watson says surveillance video given to police shows the same men - both tall, muscular African-American men in their 20s, removing items from the second victim's home.  The men were spotted loading up items in a beat-up, white Mazda or Hyundai sedan.
If you have any information on the cases, call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.