A Laguna Beach man is suspected of burglarizing Laguna Niguel homes early Thursday morning.
Cameron Bilbrey, 18, allegedly slipped into four homes while the residents were inside, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Due to the high winds that morning, most of the occupants attributed strange noises to the weather, department spokesman Jim Amormino said. It wasn’t until some went to check that they noticed signs of a break-in.
The sheriff’s department received its first call about 4 a.m. from a home in the 21200 block of Rue De Gauguin, Amormino said. While deputies were taking the report, they received additional calls — another on that street and two others on Cameray Heights, about four miles away.
Deputies set up a perimeter and found Bilbrey walking on the street with no socks on, Amormino said. Cat burglars will sometimes go barefoot so they won’t be heard in the home, he added.
They searched Bilbrey, locating an identification card of a female victim.
Bilbrey’s vehicle was found nearby, and deputies discovered numerous items that linked him to the burglaries such as purses, jewelry, credits card and gift cards, strewn throughout his vehicle, Amormino said.
Amormino said deputies noted there were attempted break-ins at two other homes, but the doors had been locked.
“No matter where you live, at nighttime you should always lock your doors and windows,” he said. “I know this is a nice area. Sometimes people become complacent because they live in low crime areas. This is a perfect example. All four successful burglaries, people were home.”
Some items in Bilbrey’s possession have not been connected to victims so there is the possibility of unreported crimes, he said.
Deputies urge anyone who thinks they are a victim to contact the sheriff’s department at (714) 628 7170.