Two residents of a Laguna Beach mobile home park were pistol-whipped during a home invasion robbery Saturday when armed men entered a home through an unlocked door, police said.
Police appealed for help from potential witnesses that might have observed anything unusual around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, in Laguna Terrace Park.
One occupant, a 72-year-old resident who was pistol-whipped in the head, was transported to the hospital for medical treatment, Capt. Jason Kravetz said.
“We figured we were being watched,” victim Rafael Valladares, 52, said on Monday. He was watching a movie on television with friends when four men, two of them with guns, barged in the unlocked front door of the home near Ruby’s Diner.
None of the neighbors that live on the same block were home that evening, he said.
When he rebuffed a demand from the bandits for money, one went into a bedroom where his partner was sleeping and took inexpensive jewelry from a nightstand, said Valladares, who watched the bandits flee on foot and head south on Coast Highway. He told police he doesn’t have any enemies.
A 23-year resident of the ocean-view park, Valladares expects the residents will ask management to consider adding gates to secure the 158-space park’s two entrances. “It’s not secure around here; everyone can drive in and out,” he said.
Police described the suspects as four African-American males with varying builds. One was in his early 20s, thin, and possibly wearing a mask around the lower portion of his face.
At the time of the robbery, two victims were in the living room watching television and a third was asleep in his bedroom, Kravetz said. After having all three victims lie face down on the living room floor, the suspects ransacked one of the bedrooms and stole property that police declined to detail.
The third victim was a houseguest who was uninjured and was not further identified.
A crime or the recent fire near the park, “is always a wake up call,” said eight-year resident Letty Skeen, who said most residents leave windows and doors open. “We need to be a little more alert and cautious,” she said.
Citizens who saw anything that might be related to this incident are being urged to contact police investigators at (949) 497-0377.