Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies believe a Laguna Beach teen is the cat burglar who snuck into four Laguna Niguel homes early Thursday morning and stole jewelry, purses and electronics while the occupants slept.
According to deputies, 18-year-old Laguna Beach resident Cameron Bilbrey snuck into the homes through unlocked doors and windows over the course of an hour starting just before 4 a.m., said department spokesman Jim Amormino. The first victim, who lives on the 21200 block of Rue De Gauguin, called to report the crime at 4:05 a.m., said Amornino. As investigators responded to that first call, three more burglary reports came in from Rue De Gauguin and the nearby Camery Heights neighborhood, he added.
“In all four burglaries, the people were home,” said Amormino. “They heard the noise, but they thought it was the wind.”
Shortly after the calls came in, deputies saw Bilbrey walking down the street near the burglaries.
“Deputies saw the suspect walking down the street with no shoes on, which is typical for burglars because they don’t want to make noise or leave prints,” said Amormino.
When deputies stopped him, they found one of the victims’ identification cards in his pocket, and his Ford Escort was parked nearby chock-full of purses, cash, credit cards, prescription drugs, electronic equipment, cameras and gift cards, said Amormino.
Police are encouraging residents to be vigilant about locking the windows, doors and cars.
“In all the cases, the burglar used unlocked entries,” said Amormino. “This is a nice area, and sometimes people become complacent.”
Investigators believe Bilbrey burglarized the four homes and attempted to break into two others. Investigators also think there could be more victims. Anyone who believes they were targeted should call investigators at 714-628-7170.