Four alleged burglars who were the objects of a massive police manhunt Tuesday in West Glendale are believed to be part of an organized ring of thieves who have been targeting upscale neighborhoods throughout the San Fernando Valley, police said.
Police on Wednesday identified the alleged burglars as Los Angeles residents Makalle Womack, 18, and Sammy Hodges, 20, and Inglewood residents Travis Bryant, 24, and Kevin Childs, 23. Bryant was on parole, and the other men had extensive criminal records, Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
The men belong to a gang-affiliated, organized crime group that has been burglarizing high-end homes in the Valley, Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena, he said.
The Los Angeles Police Department has also made several arrests for similar residential burglaries, Lorenz said.
Police believe more thieves connected to the group are still at large.
The four men were taken into custody Tuesday after they were spotted about 11:40 a.m. running out of a home and entering a car on the 1200 block of North Everett Street in the Rossmoyne district, according to Glendale police.
When they refused to stop for police, officers chased them onto, and off of, the Ventura (134) Freeway. The chase ended when the men crashed into a parked car at the dead end of Circle Seven Drive, Lorenz said.
The men fled on foot, prompting police to lock down the area for several hours.
Police considered the men armed and dangerous because handguns were reported stolen in some of the home burglaries they may have been responsible for.
Police K-9 units eventually found Childs, Bryant and Hodges hiding inside an unoccupied, detached home garage on Cosmic Way, Lorenz said.
Police continued searching, but later returned to the same garage, he said. This time, officers used another police dog to investigate the garage again. That’s when the dog found Womack, who had climbed through a small crawl space, Lorenz said.
Police called out for Womack several times, but he didn’t respond, Lorenz said. The dog then bit Womack on the ear. He is being held in a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s lockup facility, police said.
Police discovered jewelry and electronics, allegedly stolen from the home on Everett, inside the men’s car, Lorenz said. No weapons were found.
Lorenz attributed Tuesday’s arrest to proactive policing and efforts to focus the department’s resources on a recent string of home burglaries in East Glendale.
The men were expected to appear Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Glendale.