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An anonymous tip by an alert resident led to the arrest of a pair of burgling brothers last week according to the Burbank Police.
Police dispatchers received a 911 call the evening of Thursday, Jan. 9 by a citizen who observed a suspicious minivan parked in front of a house which was undergoing renovation work in the 7700 block of South Monitor Ave. The caller reported seeing two men “working” inside with the lights off and removing appliances from the unlit home.
When officers arrived on the scene, they found Nathaniel Lopez, 25, of Montgomery Illinois and his juvenile brother standing near the van. Police say that upon questioning, the elder Lopez stated that they were told by their “boss” to remove the appliances from the home. Police contacted the property owner who said he did not know the men nor gave anyone permission to remove property from the residence.
According to Burbank Division Chief Mike Dudlo, as the investigation evolved it was learned these two offenders had committed three other burglaries in the Burbank area since January 1, targeting houses that were under construction or being rehabbed. Dudlo said, “The subjects broke into the homes and stole the appliances from within. They would then sell the appliances to a third party on the street for some fast cash to support their drug addiction.”
Nathaniel Lopez allegedly told police the reason he chose to commit these crimes in Burbank was because he "worked in the area before for a realty company and noticed it was a nice area and figured the residents had nice things."
Nathaniel Lopez was charged with four counts of burglary. He appeared in bond court Jan. 11 where he was released on a $25,000.00 recognizance bond and confined to home monitoring. His juvenile brother also faces burglary charges.
Dudlo commended the anonymous tipster for taking action and calling police. “These incidents were cleared as result of a vigilant resident taking the time to call 911 and reporting what they observed as it was occurring. Other than the elder offender working in the area in the past, there were no other ties to Burbank between these two individuals. Many crimes have been solved with the help from citizens that take the time to get involved. The police need and welcome any assistance we can get from the community,” Dudlo said.