Police arrested a man they believe to be a suspected prowler who has frightened residents in the northeast San Fernando Valley area of Shadow Hills and Sunland-Tujunga for weeks after home surveillance videos showed an armed man lurking in neighborhoods.
The suspectwas taken into custody just before 11 p.m. near Wheatland Avenue and Wentworth Street, police said. He was identified as Benjamin Renteria, 25, and booked on suspicion of felony burglary.
He is being held on $240,000 bond.
A police dog confronted the suspect in an area with heavy vegetation and began dragging the suspect by the arm before officers arrived to take him into custody.
The wanted man had been seen earlier crawling through brush in the area as he sought to evade police.
The arrest ends a three-day search for the man who police believe is responsible for several commercial and residential burglaries in Sunland, Shadow Hills and various communities throughout the northeast San Fernando Valley.
Neighbors have been terrified.
Carlos Medina, a neighbor, said he thinks he encountered him before.
“Five days ago, he stopped by my house,” he said. “Tattooed, had a backpack. He asked me and my friend, ‘Can you give me a ride to Saticoy?’ My friend said, ‘No, he can’t.’”
Police say the prowler was seen with a handgun, a bolt-action rifle and an AR-15-type rifle and they say he’s linked to a series of commercial and residential burglaries.
“All night I don’t sleep,” said Karo Paronian, a neighbor. “I’m watching my home. Sitting up in a chair up there at night until 2-3 in the morning.”
The arrest follows reports of a man appearing on security camera video and still images outside homes in nearby Shadow Hills. They show a thin man carrying what appear to be a variety of weapons.
The images were shared on neighborhood security apps.
In one video captured on Oct. 24, a handgun appears to be stuffed in his waistband, and a stuffed pack on his back. He glances over his shoulder briefly, notices the camera, then walks away.
Other posts include unverified accounts of recent break-ins in the hilly neighborhood of winding roads off the 210 Freeway.
City News Service contributed to this report.
Source: NBC Los Angeles