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Poway home burglarized, family's van vandalized 20 minutes away

Posted at 5:33 PM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 21:16:33-05

POWAY, Calif. (KGTV) - Burglars left behind a trail of destruction at two locations, which included an apparent attempt to delay a Poway family's return home.

Just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, doorbell video shows Diana's family pulling out of their driveway in Poway, bound for a jujitsu class in Kearny Mesa. After that class, they discovered one of the tires on their van flattened.

The culprit: the metal valve on that tire had been sliced. They got their van towed to a mechanic and received an Uber ride to their home off Pomerardo Road, arriving just before 7:15 p.m.

"The first thing we noticed was our doorbell was on the ground," said Diana.

Her Ring doorbell had been yanked out. Inside the home was darkness.

"Our power was cut. It was pitch black. My kids were terrified," said Diana.

Her kids, ages 8 and 10, remained outside while her husband, Jay, went inside with a phone light.

"I thought someone took a sledgehammer to the house, or a hammer, or a bat," said Jay.

The trail of destruction up his staircase was caused by none of those things. Instead, the damage was made by their 400 lb. safe, shoved out of their bedroom by the intruders.

"What they likely did was roll it on its side and shove it down the steps," said Diana.

Inside the safe were two iPads, two watch winders and a gold-and-diamond Rolex watch that Jay had spent years saving for.

Turns out the burglars had gone to the side of the house, opened up the electrical box and cut the power, before drilling open a keyhole in the patio door.

But another action is perhaps the most disturbing part of the crime. In the video, moments after they leave, you can hear an engine start. A van appears to follow their van. Diana believes some of the burglars followed them to their class and flattened their tire to delay their trip home.

"Just feels vulnerable and violating," said Diana.

The van that was following them was a blue van, possibly a Dodge Caravan. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Crimestoppers at 888-580-8477.