Tara, the cat, won the National Hero Dog Award for saving her boy. Photo courtesy of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles
Tara, the cat, won the National Hero Dog Award for saving her boy. Photo courtesy of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles officials Friday sought public help to identify a burglar who targeted the group’s headquarters.

The crime occurred on the evening of Sept. 29 at 5026 West Jefferson Blvd., said spcaLA President Madeline Bernstein.

“He broke in, despite, or maybe to spite, a sophisticated security system including video surveillance and razor wire,” Bernstein said. “It is shameless and cowardly to steal from a charity — especially a local organization like spcaLA, dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals.”

The suspect is believed to be a young male who walks with a “distinct gait, possibly a limp,” Bernstein said.

During the burglary, he wore long pants and sleeves, gloves, a mask, and goggles. He was seen on surveillance video around 1:35a.m. that day “casing” a parking structure, Bernstein said. Then, he returned near dawn with tools and gained entry by forcing open a door. Items stolen or damaged included equipment, tools, and security cameras.

The organization has been the target of other similar break-in attempts over the course of several months, resulting in damage to spcaLA vehicles and structures, Bernstein said.

Bernstein said spcaLA has reason to suspect it is the work of the same thief, or group of thieves.

“This guy is looking for an easy score — attacking things like parking structures and storage sheds,” said Bernstein.

“The costs to fix property, increase security, and the time spent away from the fulfillment of our mission are the most damaging and costly aspects of these crimes,” Bernstein said. “If you are able to help us repair, rebuild, and reinforce that which was damaged, please make a donation.”

Donations can be made at www.spcaLA.com or by calling (888) 772-2521. People with information about the case were urged to call the Los Angeles Police Department’s Southwest Station at (213) 485-2582.

—City News Service

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