Fingerprints, video footage lead to arrest of Christmas Day burglar

CV Sheriff’s Station
Bnii Semaj Wiserachal, 22, was booked for residential burglary and receiving stolen property after a search warrant was executed Thursday at the home of a family member.
(File Photo)

Fingerprints and a neighbor’s video surveillance footage helped lead to the arrest Thursday of a Los Angeles man sheriff’s officials believe broke into a La Cañada Flintridge home on Christmas Day and made off with high-end purses, jewelry and cash.

Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station Det. Rodger Burt said 22-year-old Bnii Semaj Wiserachal was booked for residential burglary and receiving stolen property after a search warrant was executed at the Los Angeles home of a family member.

Wiserachal is thought to have removed a window screen to gain access to a home on the 5300 block of Ivafern Lane at around 1 p.m. on Christmas Day while the homeowners were in another part of the residence, according to a sheriff’s report of the incident.

He reportedly stole three designer handbags and several pieces of jewelry, including three gold rings and a gold chain with a black metal four-leaf clover pendant, from the master bedroom before fleeing from the property in a Lexus, the report indicated.


Video surveillance captured by a neighbor provided enough information for sheriff’s officials to identify the get-away vehicle as a silver 2006 Lexus GS 350.

Fingerprints found at the scene were identified as belonging to Wiserachal, who was under post-release community supervision for a previous burglary offense. Records show he was also arrested in January for probation violation.

“Once we found out who he was by the fingerprints, it took us some time to locate him,” Burt said. “We found him at the home of one of this family members — we did not recover any of the [La Cañada] stolen property, but we did find him.”

Wiserachal was found in possession of items believed to have been stolen during other home break-ins in the Los Angeles area, the detective added. He is currently being placed on a probation hold and will remain in custody until his case is heard in court.


Burt said residential burglaries in La Cañada appear to have dropped since concerns about the spreading novel coronavirus caused the closure of schools and businesses throughout Los Angeles County.

The proliferation of video doorbell cameras, such as those made by Ring and Nest, have been a big help to detectives trying to identify and apprehend suspects, Burt added.

“People are getting much better with neighborhood watch with these video cameras,” he said. “It helps.”

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