Northern California homeowner scares off masked burglars

PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Two masked-man kicked in the front door of a Pleasanton home in an attempted home-invasion -- and it was all caught on surveillance video.

It happened Wednesday morning in the Vintage Hills neighborhood.

"I didn't know what it was. Half the house was shaking because of the way they were trying to force themselves inside the house," says Andrea Leggett.

She says she was in the shower. Her son was downstairs waiting for a ride to school. After hearing her dogs going crazy and all the banging, she grabbed a towel and ran downstairs to see what was happening, just as the men broke open the doors.

Home surveillance footage shows one of the men knocking on the front door. When no one answers the door, thinking no one is home, the two men try to break the door down. After the sixth try, the doors finally open. But they are scared off by Andrea who was screaming at them from inside.

Lt. Brandon Stocking with the Pleasanton Police Department says it is a pattern law enforcement sees quite often.

"It's when they get no answer, they go forward with the burglary," says Lt. Stocking.

Stocking says he can't comment on the ongoing investigation, except that they are actively pursuing several leads.

Andrea's husband, Darren, says he's thankful his family wasn't hurt. He thinks it was a completely random attack.

"When they saw me pull out to take my oldest to (school), they thought, 'Oh. They are gone. No one is there.' It's an empty driveway," explains Darren.

Sara Porter lives a few doors down. What worries her is that the Leggett's had security signs posted at the front of the house, an alarm system, security cameras -- even barking dogs, but it still didn't stop the break-in.

"That's what makes it most unnerving for us, is that all security measures are put in place, and it still happened," says Porter.

But she went on to say that it has united the neighborhood.

"It's been more (of) the neighborhood coming together. Everyone talking, everyone getting a plan (together)," explains Porter. "We exchanged cell phone numbers, we exchanged emails and stuff, so that we can just keep an eye out on what's going on.

Lt. Stocking says, statistically, most residential burglaries occur during the day when no one is home. He suggests if someone knocks, even if you don't want to answer the door, it's still a good idea to make some kind of noise to indicate someone is inside.

"They have the doorbells that you can communicate, even if you are not at the house. You can talk to somebody at the front door. That may give the impression that someone is at home," says Lt. Stocking.

Another safety tip is to install security cameras facing the street. A suspect can hide his or her face, but the camera may capture a getaway car. As the Leggett's case proves, cameras don't always prevent burglaries, but Lt. Stocking says they can provide important details for an investigation.
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