Thieves target cars near popular LA trail

Law enforcement are searching for a group of thieves wanted for a string of car break-ins near a popular trail in the Tujunga area of Los Angeles.

Michael Anderson and David Leong were out for a run with a large group along the Switzer Falls Trial in the Angeles National Forest Sunday morning. When they came back, they realized both their cars had been broken into.

Their cars were two of at least three cars at the trailhead that were broken into. The third theft was caught on car security footage in the parking lot. In it are two men — one in a white graphic tee shirt and light colored shorts, the other in a baby blue long-sleeved tee shirt and white athletic shorts — forcing their way into a vehicle.

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When Anderson and Leong got back to their cars, they said the theft wasn't necessarily obvious.

"I didn't really notice anything," Leong said. "I noticed some tools actually that were under my car." 

Anderson said that when he got back to his car and connected to Bluetooth, he started receiving  messages after having been on the service-less trail. 

"My phone just starts blowing up… So all my Bluetooth messages start coming through and my wife's like, ‘Hey someone's got our card.'"

The thieves made off with Leong's wallet, which included cash and his credit and debit cards, while Anderson had his cash and cards taken from his wallet. Thankfully both men were able to alert their banks before any charges could be made.

"It's a huge inconvenience," Leong said. "I've already ordered my DMV license.

Dana Dierkes with the Angeles Nationa Forest, said that crimes like these are known to happen occasionally and says the best way to protect yourself is to not leave anything behind.

"Definitely don't think that hiding something in your vehicle will mean that somebody won't break into it," Dierkes said.

Anderson and Leong said the whole experience was a lesson learned. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is now looking to find the thieves. Anyone with information was asked to contact the department.