LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Calif. - April Zee and her husband David moved into their hilltop in Rolling Hills Estates two months ago and – like a bolt of lightning – their house got hit by a landslide.
That’s one thing.
Then Thursday morning, two suspects went into their home and started taking things.
"You’re already at a low then these people come, and then you feel violated again. I mean, I feel just so numb now," April Zee said.
One of those who got the call was LA County Sheriff’s deputy Aaron Maestas.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: 2 detained after allegedly trying to burglarize evacuated homes
"It shows you how bad people can be out there. They’re willing to prey on someone’s misfortune," Maestas said.
Maestas says it was at 5:50 a.m. when Zees called LASD for help.
"They were watching their ring camera footage and they observed a male and female enter their property," he said.
Maestas says about five minutes after the Ring-sighting, the man and woman – both believed to be from out of the area – were seen carrying bags full of the victims’ stuff.
When asked what was taken Zee said, "they just got stupid stuff too. It’s just stuff now."
That "stuff," according to Maestas included, clothing, ipads, cell phones and other miscellaneous items.
He says it looked like they went into the house, despite the yellow police tape and randomly grabbed things.
"Whatever was easy to conceal," Maestas said.
When authorities arrived, the burglary suspects ran. The man believed to be in his 40s was arrested quickly.
The woman? That took some time and effort and two drones from the Torrance Police Department.
"With the help of those two drones they helped our deputies triangulate the position of the females suspect," Maestas said.
Maestas helped in that effort by guiding the drone operators on where to go.
The deputy says they had an old gray Chrysler about 1/8 mile away. He adds that they were probably going to flee in that car but they got caught and now behind bars.
"I hope that when people see this they’ll realize that you can’t just come and prey on people’s misfortunes," Maestas said. "We’re going to be up there guarding these homes, patrolling the areas and we don’t people to think they can prey on peoples’ misfortune like that."
Meanwhile, LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn says, "It’s unbelievable that on top of everything else somebody had to have their home ransacked. I mean it’s unfortunate people would take advantage of a situation like this when a home is evacuated. I’m upset."
Hahn says she’s going ask the Sheriff’s Department to increase patrols in the area because of this.
When we talked with Hahn, she had just completed a tour of the damaged homes with Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi and State Senator Ben Allen who represent the area.
The hope is they can encourage the Governor to declare a state of emergency. She also said they’re doing all they can to help evacuated residents with covering their living expenses and is planning an event at the property where agencies that can provide help all come to the complex so that residents don’t have to go looking for them.