Search for armed prowler in Sunland area turns up empty as another burglary is reported

An aerial view shows police cars stopped in the road outside homes.
Police gather outside homes along Sunland Boulevard in Shadow Hills after an armed man was spotted in the area.

An hours-long search for an armed man in the hills around Sunland came up empty Tuesday morning, police said.

The search began around 12:42 a.m. when SWAT units responded to calls of a barricaded man with a gun in the 10300 block of Sunland Boulevard, according to Los Angeles Police Officer Drake Madison. Several patrol cars and K-9 units were sent to the scene as well.

The man, described as being in his 30s or 40s, may be responsible for eight residential and commercial burglaries in the nearby Shadow Hills neighborhood and the northeast San Fernando Valley, officials said.


He was last seen near the Green Verdugo Reservoir close to the 210 Freeway on property owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power before he fled and hid, authorities said.

Video obtained by ABC-TV showed the man on LADWP property in Shadow Hills overnight carrying what appears to be a rifle. A representative for LADWP did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Officials said there is a possibility the man is experiencing homelessness.

The California Highway Patrol closed the east and westbound Sunland Boulevard offramps from the 210 Freeway to limit traffic from entering the area.

By 8 a.m., police had called off the search, saying the man was not in the “area of containment.”

“The suspect wasn’t located, and the search was ended,” Madison said. “If we have somebody inside a perimeter, we check that perimeter — otherwise we get him another day.”


That may be of little comfort to nearby residents, who earlier were warned to remain on alert with their doors and windows locked.

Less than a hour after police called off their search, however, officers raced to the 10000 block of Sunland Way for reports of a burglary.

Officers arrived with their guns drawn, according to reports on the police scanner. But the suspect was gone by the time they arrived, LAPD Officer J. Chavez said.

It’s unclear whether the latest burglary call is related to the search for the prowler.

Anyone with information about the events is asked to contact the police.

City News Service contributed to this report.