Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station detectives arrested three adults at a Harter Lane home Thursday in connection with a La Cañada residential burglary, after recognizing several stolen items while responding to a family disturbance call at the property the previous Sunday.
Sgt. Alan Chu said deputies were called out to 5209 Harter Lane off Angeles Crest Highway on Feb. 26 by someone residing there. While inside the house, deputies noticed multiple pieces of furniture resembling items believed to have been stolen from a vacant home on Noren Street in recent weeks.
"[The furniture] had been taken out of another house that was for sale," Chu said in an interview Thursday afternoon at the scene. "It was pretty unique."
Sheriff's detectives were able to positively identify the stolen furniture from photos provided by the home staging company that owned it and had arranged it in the Noren Street home, according to Chu.
A search warrant for the Harter Lane home was prepared, and sheriff's deputies and detectives returned to the property around 7 a.m. Thursday to execute the warrant. Ultimately three adults on the property, two males and one female, were arrested for burglary, Chu said.
It was not immediately clear whether the three suspects — and a number of other adults and children seen on the property Thursday — were living there legally. Some real estate listings online indicate the 2,833-square-foot residence was a foreclosed home.
Posted on a gate leading to the property next to a "No Trespassing" sign was a piece of paper titled "Notice of Lawful Use of Space and Peaceful Inhabitation [sic]." The notice informed law enforcement officers and state officials of the inhabitants' rights to remain unmolested.
"Failure to follow state laws may result in legal action taken against you," the notice read.
Chu acknowledged there was a dispute as to whether the people occupying the Harter Lane home were allowed to be there.
"We're not here to determine who belongs here," he said Thursday. "We're here to recover the property and see who took it."
The suspects were taken to the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station, while the recovered items were turned over to their rightful owner. Chu said it was still unknown whether the individuals arrested may possibly be connected to other burglaries or crimes.
Sara Cardine, firstname.lastname@example.org