RSF resident chases off suspects attempting to break into home

One of two home burglary suspects runs down a Rancho Santa Fe driveway.
(Security camera footage)

A Rancho Santa Fe resident was recently rattled by an attempted home burglary while he and his wife were at home.

The incident occurred around 8:50 p.m. on Monday, April 10 at a home on the east side of the Ranch. The homeowner, who asked not to be identified, chased off two suspects down his driveway with his air rifle. The suspects, camouflaged by hoods and wearing gloves, got away in a waiting vehicle.

According to the homeowner, the car came down the street at about 8:20 p.m. The resident’s three-acre property has a large citrus orchard and the suspects appeared to go into the orchard and creep through a barranca that separates his property from his neighbors. They came up past the pool and poolhouse and around the back of the house to the front of the home.

The homeowner and his wife had just returned home from dinner and were settling in to watch a movie. The side yard motion activated-lights came on but they didn’t pay it too much attention as wildlife or rustling branches can occasionally set it off.

“A moment later, I saw a hooded man peering into our windows,” he said.

The homeowner jumped up, grabbed his pellet gun and and threw open the study doors to give chase. “A micro-second later, a second hooded young man flew past me as they ran through the front yard of our house and leapt over the fence onto the driveway,” he said. “It was really stupid to do what I did but I did it on complete adrenaline.”

A waiting car there sped away before he could catch a license plate number. Security camera footage captured images of the suspects as they ran down the driveway.

The homeowners live fairly centrally in the Covenant and the property is well-lit for security. The residents recently had tree work done and the citrus grove had been harvested about a few weeks prior.

For the homeowner, more alarming than the incident was the lack of response. They called 911 twice and said the sheriff never came. They also called the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol, who drove past later after being diverted to a traffic accident but did not stop in to take a report. His wife called again and demanded they return and they came back around 10:05 p.m.

The response was disappointing to the homeowner as well as his neighbors, who heard the whole incident and checked in to see if everyone was okay.

“If somebody is having a hot trespass like this, they need to be there,” the homeowner said of law enforcement. “Given the response, we are all clearly on our own.”

With their neighbors, they have decided to hire their own guard agency to patrol the properties until they feel more comfortable.

According to Lt. David LaDieu of the San Diego County Sheriffs Department, in this case there was no mention of a firearm in the initial report and deputies were advised there was no need to respond as the Patrol had responded first. Once deputies learned there was mention of a firearm, the reporting party was contacted and a report was taken documenting the incident, he said.

“There is no indication at this time this incident is related to any specific crime ring or related incidents,” LaDieu said.