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Thieves breaking into homes while families sleep

Posted at 11:32 PM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 02:32:32-04

A recent spike in crime has people living along the beaches of San Diego's North County concerned.

Steve Salas lives on 28th Street in Del Mar.  He woke up to intruders rummaging through his home at 3 a.m. last Wednesday.

Salas says the thieves left empty handed after rifling through his belongings.

"This door was open and that door was wide open and all the cupboards were open and there's a little storage area that's open so somebody had been in the house," said Salas.

Salas, his adult son, and Salas' girlfriend took off after the thieves. 

"I just had a couple of wooden oars, like canoe paddles, I had one and I gave one to my son," Salas laughs when he thinks about why he grabbed the paddles. "I don't know, it was kind of the heat of battle. I was more following Joanna. She was fired up and leading the charge. I just wanted to make sure she didn't get hurt."

The thieves got away when someone picked them up in a car.  Salas says it appears the duo hit more than his house.

"We were following a trail of mail. I guess they had picked up mail from people's houses and they were going through it looking for checks or anything like that," said Salas.

Just down the street at the Del Mar Beach Club in Solana Beach, homeowners are putting up cameras in response to a series of car break-ins. Surveillance cameras have captured men with backpacks rifling through cars or creeping around - checking to see if they're unlocked.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department says it is increasing patrols through the area.

Longtime residents say the San Diego County Fair, which starts next week, usually brings an increase in crime to the area, but Salas said what happened at his house last week came as a shock.

"It's a whole different level of violation, everybody's had their car broken into and bikes stolen and that's kind of outside," said Salas. "But to be sleeping in the house at night and have somebody come in here, that's a whole different thing."

No arrests have been made. Salas is also considering investing in a security system.

"It's pretty scary when you're in the house and they break in," he said. "Like it doesn't even matter."