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Ventura County News Roundup

OJAI : 2 Men in Ninja Garb Invade, Rob Home

January 22, 1992|LARRY SPEER

Sheriff's deputies are investigating a string of crimes committed early Tuesday in Ojai by two men described by witnesses as wearing ninja outfits, police said.

The men, dressed completely in black and wearing masks, are suspected of breaking into one home, threatening a 15-year-old boy with a knife, stealing his sister's Volkswagen, ransacking a group of cars and stealing a purse and then attempting to break into a second home later in the night.

The pair were first spotted by an Ojai resident as they attempted to enter his Foothill Road home about 1:40 a.m., Sgt. Don Cunningham said.

The resident, who asked that his name not be released, said he was going to the kitchen to get cough medicine for his son when he noticed that a motion alarm had been set off.

He heard rattling at his glass front door and turned on the lights, surprising the two men. One of the two drew a small sword from his belt and hit the glass six times, he said.

"It just went so fast. It was really hard to believe that this was happening, especially with the two of them wearing those costumes," the homeowner said.

When the glass did not break, the men fled on foot and police arrived minutes later, he said. They found that cars had been ransacked and a purse and some car keys stolen, the homeowner said.

"It didn't deter them at all that there were people here--they didn't seem to care," another resident said. "It really did feel like a big-city kind of crime, right here in Ojai."

At 3:40 a.m., police were called to a home on Maricopa Highway that two robbers had entered through an unlocked sliding door. The pair attacked a 15-year-old boy in his bed, holding a knife to his throat and demanding to know where the credit cards and car keys were kept, Cunningham said.

When the boy told them the keys were in his parents' room, the robbers answered, "We've been there. There's a dog," according to police reports.

The boy was tied up with a shirt and told to be quiet or he would be killed, Cunningham said.

After 10 minutes, the boy called police. A 1988 burgundy Volkswagen Fox was missing, Cunningham said.

The Sheriff's Department's major crimes division is investigating, Lt. Joe Harwell said.

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