Man sought in series of North County home burglaries

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. – Locked doors, surveillance cameras and even alarm systems are not deterring a suspected burglar from breaking into North County homes.

Investigators are looking for a suspect wanted in connection with the burglaries of at least four homes in the San Marcos and Escondido areas.

Fran Russell's employer lives in a home on Rees Road in Escondido that was broken into earlier this month. She shared surveillance video from the break-in after she noticed several similarities with video shown in a story FOX 5 aired Monday about a San Marcos home burglary.

“We were watching the news last night and saw the same guy,” said Russell. “Shocked that he was doing this again to somebody else."

She said it was more than the match on camera that caught her attention.

“He broke this window almost entirely out,” said Russell.

Russell said the person used the same method to get into her boss’ home as in the San Marcos home burglary.

“It looked like he took some type of tool and was holding it close to him concealing it because he knew the cameras were on,” said Fran.

Once inside, "he ransacked everything."

“He went through all the drawers, opened every closet and everything was rummaged through,” said Russell.

Similar to the burglary in San Marcos, only small items were taken from the Escondido home, including thousands of dollars in jewelry and expensive plumbing equipment.

Russell said the suspect also tried to destroy evidence after he realized he was caught on camera.

“He poured Pepsi all over [the surveillance system] to destroy it, which it did,” said Russell.

She said he also unplugged the system but didn’t take it, leaving the captured video behind. That video is now in the hands of Sheriff’s investigators.

“Based on the mannerisms, clothing, facial features, we believe it’s going to be the same person,” said Sgt. Dan Deese.

Deese said since releasing the video from the San Marcos case Monday, they have received multiple leads. Deese said it’s only a matter of time before they catch the man in the video.

“When we have video as clear as this one, we usually have multiple people coming forward and identifying the person. I believe that will happen,” said Deese.

Russell said she’s worked in the home for four years, often alone -- but not anymore.

“I don’t feel uncomfortable being here alone anymore," she said. "Not until they catch him.”

Security has since been increased at the home.

Deese said there is possibly a fifth case at the San Marcos home, but the burglary is still under investigation.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect or has information about the crime should call the San Marcos Sheriff’s Station at 760-510-5200 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 888-580-8477. Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest in this case. Anonymous email and text messages can be sent in via www.sdcrimestoppers.org.