'The Ghost' Raises Alert with Los Angeles Police with his Latest String of Burglaries


The San Fernando Valley is facing a man-made crisis, while other areas of California fight off wildfires. “The Ghost,” so named by Los Angeles police officers, has been burglarizing businesses throughout the valley, leaving business owners devastated and feeling violated. As police continue to investigate, hoping for a break that will lead them to the identity of “The Ghost,” business owners speak publicly about what the burglaries have cost them.
“The Ghost” is Taking More Than Money
Woodland Hill’s Franklin Hardware was the latest store to be hit by “The Ghost,” the commercial burglar credited with over 40 thefts in the valley. Co-owner of the hardware store, Michael Kurzeka, was the one to find the door smashed in and the shop burglarized. Speaking about the incident, Michael says he felt as violated as if the burglar had invaded his own home. He says Franklin Hardware has been a family business for over 65 years, so the burglary really hit home.
“It’s not the $600 or whatever,” says Kurzeka. “I don’t care. It’s the principal.”
Police announced the news that “The Ghost” has been evading capture attempts, since he launched his spree in July. Targeting businesses after normal operating hours, the suspect has broken into more than 40 establishments without leaving a clue as to his identity.
Lt. Paul Weber, who is in command of the Topanga Detective Division, said all that changed with the robbery of the hardware store. Previously, all images captured of “The Ghost” only showed a hooded figure, wearing gloves. New surveillance footage from the latest break-in revealed the suspect’s face and Lt. Weber can now reveal that “The Ghost” is an Asian male in his twenties.
Franklin Hardware Will Make Future Burglaries More Unlikely
“The Ghost” hit Franklin Hardware between #:30 and $:30 a.m., creating $1,000 worth of damage in addition to making off with a garbage disposal unit and $600 in cash. This is the second burglary the store has seen since July, but Michael Kurzeka can’t say for certain the same burglar is responsible for both break-ins. Kurzeka adds that an ice cream shop, pizzeria, and barbershop have also been targeted in the area.
For Michael, enough is enough. He’s already installed more motion sensors and glass break sensors, proving he isn’t relying on police to stop the neighborhood’s crime wave. Police have made a point to create a greater presence in the area, educating owners about protecting against burglaries, conducting stakeouts, and issuing more undercover officers. Paroled burglars living in the area have been questioned, as well.
“Hopefully they get him,” Kurzeka said. “I’m glad they’re taking it seriously.”


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