Photo by Gustavo Castillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Gustavo Castillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Three men were in custody Wednesday in connection with a home-invasion robbery in Duarte and several residential burglaries, and authorities asked Wednesday that any other victims come forward.

The Duarte robbery occurred on March 4, when four suspects driving a “high-end luxury SUV” pulled into the victim’s driveway, got out of the vehicle and approached the home, a sheriff’s statement said. The location was not revealed.

“As the suspects neared the home, they encountered a resident who was working in his carport,” sheriff’s officials said. “A brief struggle ensued with the victim and one suspect as the other suspects forced entry into the home.”

The suspects encountered a female resident inside, and she was “assaulted, hit, and kicked,” according to officials. “The intruders quickly entered a bedroom and stole valuables. As the suspects fled the home one of the suspects attempted to carjack a vehicle from a passerby who had stopped in front of the home noticing the commotion.”

“During their investigation, detectives were able to locate and identify the suspects’ vehicle and identify three of the four suspects believed to be responsible for the violent robbery, as well as two additional residential burglaries and two attempted residential burglaries nearby on the same day,” sheriff’s officials said.

Detectives said they also determined that the suspects had been involved in numerous additional residential burglaries throughout Los Angeles County, including in Arcadia, Downey, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Glendora and Los Angeles.

The investigation was conducted by detectives from the sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau’s Burglary-Robbery Task Force, formed six years ago to combat organized crews committing daytime, residential burglaries.     The task force supports all Los Angeles County sheriff’s stations’ detective bureaus, as well as other Southern California law enforcement agencies.

“Typically known as ‘knock-knock’ burglars, these crews, often formed by gang members, utilize high-end luxury vehicles to blend into a middle class and affluent neighborhoods where they break into homes ransacking and stealing valuables such as cash, jewelry, and weapons,” sheriff’s officials said.

Four days after the Duarte home invasion, Timothy Johnson, 29, of Los Angeles, was arrested on suspicion of burglary by Pasadena police. He was convicted in May and sentenced to four years in state prison, a sheriff’s statement said.

“Although suspect Johnson is currently imprisoned … detectives filed two additional charges of robbery, one charge of attempted carjacking and six charges of residential burglary, plus a criminal street terrorism act enhancement against him,” the statement said. “He will face a maximum prison sentence of over 180 years if convicted. The bail amount on the new charges is $1.04 million.”

On June 14, Los Angeles resident Ronald Johnson, 24 — who is not related to Timothy Johnson — was arrested by deputies at Los Angeles Airport Courthouse.

“Ironically, he was at the court appearing on another residential burglary charge from a recent arrest by Beverly Hills police … (and he) faces 13 new charges of residential burglary, two counts of robbery, and a criminal street terrorism act enhancement,” the statement said. “He faces a maximum prison sentence of over 200 years, if convicted, and is a third strike candidate. Suspect Johnson is being held in lieu of $1.42 million bail.”

On March 18, Los Angeles resident Dion Smith, 24, was arrested by Compton Courthouse deputies. He was charged with two counts of robbery, one count of attempted carjacking, and eight counts of residential burglary, plus a criminal street terrorism act enhancement. He faces a maximum prison sentence of over 165 years if convicted, and is a third strike candidate. He is being held in lieu of $1.04 million bail.

Anyone who may have been victimized by the burglary crew was urged to call authorities.

—City News Service

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