'The Ghost' burglar reportedly targets more than 40 businesses in San Fernando Valley

Los Angeles police on Wednesday released security images of a prolific burglar dubbed The Ghost, who is being sought as a suspect in more than 40 business burglaries in the west San Fernando Valley since July.

"Until this week, we had no idea what The Ghost looked like, other than he was hooded and gloved,'' said Los Angeles police Lt. Paul Weber, commanding officer of the Topanga Detective Division.

The suspect, whose face was partially uncovered in a recent security photo, was described only as an Asian man in his 20s. All the businesses targeted have been along Ventura Boulevard or Topanga Canyon Boulevard, as far north as Sherman Way.

One of the crimes occurred earlier this month at Franklin's Hardware, 21936 Ventura Blvd.

"Our store is an extension of our home,'' said Michael Kurzeka, co-owner of the store. "When you see some hooded guy rummaging through your place, it's frustrating and violating. That's why I want to help the police to catch him.''

The break-in cost the store nearly $1,000 in repairs.

"Most often, the burglar's take is far less than the damage he causes,'' Weber said.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call Detective Amber Kim at (818) 756-5844, or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

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