CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - A Chula Vista family saw nearly all of their valuables vanish during a break-in while their home was being tented for termites.
Last Thursday, around 3 a.m., a figure is seen outside Brenda Nunez's home, which sits in the Broadway Mobile Home Park.
It was the final morning of a 3-day fumigation.
Soon after, the man is seen inside the tent, near the front door.
“You can see from dust pattern outside the window, where he slid in or out of home,” said Nunez.
Nunez believes the burglar pried open a living room window screen, before making his way to her bedroom.
“Seeing the surveillance video gives me anxiety. Breaks my heart,” said Nunez.
Nunez says inside her bedroom, all of her valuables would disappear.
“I was devastated … all stuff I worked really hard for,” said Nunez.
Stolen in the break-in were six designer bags, a pair of designer shoes, a camera and a jewelry box with more than 10 pieces, some of them sentimental.
“My husband just got me a pair of earrings, diamond earrings and a little rose gold necklace,” said Nunez.
In total, the loss was more than $15,000. Nunez didn't have renters insurance.
The theft also stole her sense of safety. Nunez has two children, ages 10 and 12.
“You just feel violated. Your home was invaded,” said Nunez. “We're all sleeping in a room together. I don't feel safe right now.”
The break-in unfolded despite security warnings on the outside of the tent, including alarms. It's unclear if they went off.
“We trusted the house was going to be safe, and unfortunately it didn't turn out that way,” said Nunez.
If you have any information on the case, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477 or submit a tip via P3tips (online or mobile application) http://p3tips.com/409 [p3tips.com]
Chris Aguilar, owner of Nixtermite Professional released this statement, which was part of an open letter to community members:
“As the owner of Nixtermite Professional Pest Solutions, I wanted to address concerns about break-ins that occur during tent fumigations. As someone who has been in the pest control industry for 35 years, I have sadly seen what lengths criminals will go to break-in and steal from unsuspecting customers during this process.
Over the years, we have worked with law enforcement agencies to identify and help catch individuals that prey on homeowners, business owners, and tenants during this process. While some owners mistakenly believe that termite companies or their fumigators are somehow in cahoots with these criminals, (I see the comments on social media often) the evidence has overwhelmingly shown that this is not the case. The fact is these crimes are almost without exception committed by known local criminals with existing records of theft or breaking and entering.
At Nixtermite, we take immense pride in maintaining one of the lowest break-in rates for a pest control provider in San Diego County. With just 1 break-in recorded in over 800 fumigations, we continually strive to ensure the safety and security of our customers' homes. However, we understand that even a single break-in can lead to distress and anxiety for our clients.
If you're contemplating fumigation for your home or business, rest assured that we are dedicated to minimizing any potential risks and providing expert advice on ensuring the safety of you, your loved ones, and your property throughout the fumigation process.
If you are considering a tent fumigation for your home, business, or multi-residential community, we suggest following these recommendations to enhance security during the process:
- Remove Valuables: Before fumigation begins, remove valuable items from the property to minimize the risk of theft.
- Notify Trusted Neighbors: Inform trusted neighbors about the fumigation and ask them to contact the police if they notice any suspicious activity.
- Request Extra Patrol: Contact your local police department and request an "Extra Patrol" for your property while it is being fumigated.
- Hire Private Security or Seek Help from Friends/Family: Consider hiring a private security company to monitor the property until your return, or ask trusted family members and friends to keep an eye on it.
- Inquire About Theft Deterrents: Consult with your pest professional to determine if they employ any theft deterrent measures as part of the fumigation process