Home invasion robbery in up-scale Newport Beach: Two robbers still at large

Home invasion robbery in up-scale Newport Beach: Two robbers still at large

By Michael Webster
Three suspects have been arrested in a home-invasion robbery in an up-scale gated community in Newport Beach California that resulted in a SWAT standoff early this morning; two of the five believed armed suspects are still at large and may still be in the area. Police set up a perimeter but by press time they were not sure if the suspects were able to escape.

The robbers were armed with handguns and forced their way into a home on Longboat Street in the exclusive gated community of Pelican Ridge on Tuesday night, demanding jewelry and cash. Newport Beach Police information officer Lt. Craig Fox said.

The FBI reports in a recent article that, that kind of crime is considered an alternative to bank or convenience store robberies, which are getting harder to pull off cleanly due to technological advances in security and video coverage. In the same report, the

FBI recommends educating the public about the serious impact of home invasion robberies. Even though Gated communities are promoted by property developers as a way of being safe from this crime. According to law enforcement that is no longer the case, in fact police now believe gated communities are no longer safer, in fact police and other experts believe they have become attractive targets for invasion robberies.

Fox said police were notified of the robbery about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday night, when someone was able to call 911 from a cell phone in the backyard of the house. There were nine people inside the home, and three were struck in the head by the intruders, Fox said. Two were treated at the scene and the other was taken to a local hospital.

At least one neighboring home was evacuated as SWAT team members searched for the two suspects who got away, Fox said.
“We quickly captured one in a nearby yard who possibly broke his ankle,” Fox said.

Another man was apprehended as he was driving out of the area, and a third was found in a parked car.

Fox said the two at large are possibly armed with handguns. At least one weapon was recovered at the scene, Fox said.
Fox said he heard numerous reports that Kobe Bryant has a home in the gated community, but he could not confirm that.

The gated neighborhood is about two miles inland in a part of Newport Beach known as Newport Coast.

Police say one of the more frightening and potentially dangerous crimes that can occur to a family is a home invasion robbery. Most often a home invasion is when robbers force their way into an occupied home to commit robbery, rape and other crimes.  It is particularly frightening because it violates our private space and the one place that we think of as our sanctuary.

Security experts point out that home invasion is like the residential form of an automobile carjacking and it’s on the rise. Like the crime of carjacking, most police agencies don’t track home invasions as a separate crime. Most police agencies and the FBI will statistically record the crime as a residential burglary or a robbery. Without the ability to track the specific crime of home invasion, little can be done to alert the public as to the frequency of occurrence in their community or devise a law enforcement plan of action to control it.

Home invasion robbers, in contrast to burglars, work more often at night and on weekends when homes are more likely to be occupied. The home invader will sometimes target the resident as well as the dwelling. The selection process may include a woman living alone, a wealthy senior citizen or a known drug dealer, for example. It is not unheard of for a robber to follow you home based on the value of the car you are driving or the jewelry you are wearing. Some home invaders might have been in your home before as a delivery person, installer or repair vendor.  Home robbers rarely work alone and rely on an overwhelming physical confrontation to gain initial control and instill fear in you. The greatest violence usually occurs during the initial sixty seconds of the confrontation and home invaders often come prepared with handcuffs, rope, duct tape, and firearms. Some in-home robbers appear to enjoy the intimidation, domination, and violence and some even claim it’s a “rush.”

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