A burglary suspect escaped police last night, after K-9 units and sharpshooters remained poised outside a house on the 18400 block of Devonshire Street in Northridge where the suspected barricaded himself for over three hours.
No shots were fired and no one was reported injured.
Four people, including three children and a female, where inside around 5:30 p.m. when the suspect burglarized the home, prior to barricading himself inside.
The family was taken outside the home to safety, said Sgt. Andy Whitman of the LAPD Devonshire Division. The suspect did not take any hostages in the home, he said.
“The guy made it out of our perimeter, but we know who he is and where to get him,” Whitman said.
About 20 to 30 officer units responded to the scene, wearing bulletproof vests, and armed with high-powered rifles.
Police closed off all traffic on Devonshire Street, from Reseda Boulevard to Wilbur Avenue, creating a perimeter to try to apprehend the suspect.
An undercover unit of the police department was following the suspect, who has an outstanding warrant, when he went inside the house, Whitman said. Another individual, who police took into custody, was accompanying the suspect.
Police did not say whether the man taken into custody was connected with the suspected burglary. The suspect taken into custody did, however, verify for police the identity of the burglary suspect.
Although police could not name specific instances, they said they were familiar with the suspect, who has been previously arrested and previously found to be in possession of a firearm.
About 50 people, most of them children, were being held by police at the park across the street from the home, where they were practicing Little League baseball when the incident occurred. The children and other people who were at the park at the time were taken to the far end of the park as a precaution, since police said they believed the suspect might be armed.
Parents waited about 500 feet from the scene for their kids, some of whom were driven from the park in a police car around 7:30 p.m. and reunited with their parents.
“I just came by to pick them up, and the roads were already blocked,” said Louise Terziyan, who was picking up her 10-year-old son, Diran.
John Quijano, salesperson, was still waiting for his 7 year-old son, Joshua, when the suspect was reported to have escaped the perimeter set up by police.
“We have been standing here for about two and a half hours,” Quijano said. “It’s pretty shaky when your kid is out there with a gunman.”