Cindy Von Quednow and Shelby Nelson
A Calabasas homeowner and author thwarted a home invasion Thursday night thanks to cameras in his yard, and the would-be burglars were caught on video.
Lee Goldberg was home with his wife and daughter, when around 9:20 p.m., they got a notification on their iPad from their motion sensor.
But it wasn’t the occasional bobcat or coyote they’re used to seeing. Goldberg’s cameras captured four masked men climbing up a steep hillside into his backyard.
They were dressed in hoodies, gloves and appeared to even be matching, the bestselling author of crime thrillers told KTLA.
But this was not fiction. Goldberg had become a real-life character he often writes about in his novels.
“They looked organized, they looked professional,” he said.
That’s when he alerted authorities, and the would-be theives turned around and went right back down the hill they came from.
Goldberg said he thinks they saw him on the phone calling the police.
“It’s very unsettling. It’s what I write about, this stuff, and I imagine it, but I don’t think it would happen to me,” Goldberg said.
It’s not the first time the neighborhood was hit.
Goldberg’s neighbor had just been burglarized before Thursday’s thwarted home invasion.
The neighbor, who did not want to be identified, told KTLA that thieves broke through a window and got away with thousands of dollars worth of clothes and jewelry.
He added that his house has been hit once before and it’s making him consider moving from the area.
“We live in a gated community and it gives you this false sense of security,” Goldberg said, adding that he thinks thieves go through a nearby golf course and hike up hills to get into homes. “I think all you can do is try and be vigilant. I’m just glad I didn’t go outside and confront them, that was my instinct.”
Authorities told KTLA that recent incidents are under investigation, but would not confirm if any arrests have been made.