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Band of middle schoolers suspected in Ocean Beach burglary, other break-ins

Band of middle schoolers suspected in Ocean Beach burglary, other break-ins
Posted at 4:48 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 19:52:41-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Police announced Thursday the arrest of four juveniles in connection with an Ocean Beach burglary, and ABC 10News has learned the ongoing investigation is focused on a band of middle schoolers and a string of crimes.

Along Long Branch Avenue, in a quiet neighborhood, Catherine Rodriguez's peace of mind is gone.

“They stole my feeling that I'm safe in my own home,” said Rodriguez.

Last Thursday, around 5 p.m., she got a call from a neighbor while she was out. She was told that five young boys were in her gated backyard.

“My initial reaction was fright and anger,” said Rodriguez.

She quickly began to drive home. Minutes before she got back, video from a few doors down shows a blur of five children running away from her home.

“When Rodriguez returned home, she found her back door—which she had left unlocked—open,” said Rodriguez.

Missing from inside her bedroom dresser was a jewelry box with dozens of pieces, most of them family heirlooms

“It meant everything to me. All I have is memories,” said Rodriguez.

Among the heirlooms: a gold charm bracelet. She and her husband Frank, who died nine years ago, did a lot of traveling, and they would buy a charm at every stop.

“Leaves me with a hole in my being, and being me. Don't have that much to remember my husband by,” said Rodriguez.

The thieves that created that hole were likely young, as in middle school age.

Sources tell ABC 10News, police were focused on some kids at a particular middle school, and a string of burglaries at homes and businesses.

“It scares me that kids that young could even think of doing something like that,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says about $10,000 worth of jewelry was taken.

ABC 10News reached out to police to see if any jewelry has been recovered and are waiting to hear back.