LA VERNE, Calif. (FOX 11) - Tonight, a community is shocked but also relieved after a suspected thief is behind bars accused of burglarizing their apartments -- That suspected thief -- their apartment manager.
When Suzy Wrate saw surveillance video from inside her apartment on her cell phone, she knew her suspicions were true.
"You see someone in your home, with a flashlight, going through papers on the table in drawers, looking in the curio cabinet and China cabinet," said Wrate.
Her Nest camera alerted her of someone in her home, catching the intruder inside for nearly 30 minutes rifling through her belongings. If that's not bad enough, she knew the intruder.
"It seems worse because it was someone I knew and not someone random," said Wrate.
Wrate says that intruder was her apartment manager. La Verne Police say 69-year-old Dean May stole from his tenants--taking everything from jewelry to camping equipment. Wrate says she and neighbors always suspected May but never had any proof.
It was after her grandfather's Rolex watch went missing that she felt she needed a camera. The camera footage led to the arrest of May who now faces multiple burglary charges.
Neighbors say if it wasn't for the Wrate's camera, they would continue to be victimized by a man who they thought they could trust.
"I think he should be put away for a very long time. I don't think someone like him should be allowed to be out in the streets," Wrate said.
The Property owners sent a letter to tenants saying May has been terminated. La Verne Police are holding a meeting for apartment tenants on May 14, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. at the La Verne Community Center to discuss the investigation.