Two suspects were on the loose, while a Murrieta family was still reeling from their home being ransacked during an alleged burglary.
The alleged burglary is believed to have occurred between 12:15 p.m. and 1:20 p.m. Tuesday in the 38000 block of Placer Creek Street, Murrieta police Lt. Rob Firmes confirmed.
Resident Kelly Pittman told Patch she left her Placer Creek home at about 12:15 p.m. to have lunch with her husband in Temecula. When her husband returned to the family home at about 1:20 p.m., he said he saw two men in their front yard.
The men, described as white and in their 20s, ran off, she said.
"He jumped in his car and unsuccessfully tried to chase them," Pittman said.
Police were called at about the same time, and also went in pursuit of the subjects, Firmes said. The department's Bloodhound was used to try and track their scent.
"The guy found his house had been ransacked and saw two suspicious-looking men running away," Firmes said.
Upon further inspection, the family discovered a rear window in their home had been smashed by a brick. They believe it is where the suspects entered.
"They completely ransacked the place," Pittman said. "They stole three laptops, money, jewelry."
Among the laptops allegedly taken was one that belonged to Pittman's 13-year-old daughter.
"She is just devastated. She took it the hardest," Pittman said, noting her daughter's computer files were not backed up, therefore she lost valuable photos among other important items.
Necklaces that had belonged to Pittman's great-grandmother were also allegedly taken, she said.
"It is a violating feeling," Pittman said. "They just destroyed the house. They took a sledgehammer from our garage and used it to smash things up. They did a lot of property damage. I just want these guys caught."
Pittman said a neighbor told her two men passing out fliers had come to her door right before the burglary. She said she wanted people to be aware so it did not happen to them. The family also plans to install a security alarm, she said.
Firmes said no immediate connection between the solicitors and the burglary was made by police.
Police were also investigating the burglary of another home that occurred at 9:52 a.m. on Springhaven Street, across town from Placer Creek. In that incident, Firmes said a woman "heard someone downstairs and found people rummaging through her home."
She believed initially that a bicycle may have been taken from the garage, Firmes said, but it was later confirmed nothing was missing from the home.
Firmes said the department is investigating the Springhaven incident as a burglary, though it was unclear if the two incidents were related.
"It is possible, with the time and date, but there isn't anything conventional to believe these two are related. One was on the far east side of town and the other on the west side," Firmes said.
Anyone with information on either incident was encouraged to call the at 951-696-3615.