Two separate home-invasion robberies in Van Nuys in just over an hour Tuesday resulted in more than $5,000 worth of goods and cash being stolen from two apartments, police said.
Although both victims were uninjured in the robberies, police said the incidents are part of a recent string of home-invasion robberies in Van Nuys in the last few weeks.
According to police, just after 11 a.m. Tuesday four men slipped through an unlocked door in the 17000 block of Cantara Street and forced an unidentified woman into her bathroom at gunpoint. The men locked the woman in the bathroom before ransacking her home, police said. They stole about $3,800 in cash and property before escaping, according to Det. Robert Moran of the Van Nuys Division.
About an hour later in the 14000 block of Hartland Street, Moran said, an unidentified apartment manager was showing a unit in her building to a potential tenant when a man with a gun pushed the pair inside. The robber demanded money from both people and then forced the apartment manager to unlock her downstairs apartment, according to Moran. Once inside, he demanded cash and took other valuables that police estimated were worth about $1,600.
Although officers have noticed an increase in home-invasion robberies in the Van Nuys area in recent months, Moran said the suspects have no similar descriptions, making it difficult to develop a sketch or establish possible patterns.
"There have been more than normal," Moran said. "At least five or six in the last two months. All of a sudden there's been a lot of them. I don't know if you can call it anything but a fad."