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Resident thankful burglary did not take turn for worse

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Crime: Woman says she feels violated

By Tris DeRoma

For Leslie Pfaff of Los Alamos, it wasn’t a burglary, it was an outright home invasion.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 11, she, her two teenaged children and a friend of the teens, were upstairs when two burglars broke into the bottom floor of her home. Her husband was out of town at the time.

“At first, I didn’t think anything of it,” she said. “I knew their friend was leaving early in the morning, so when I heard noises of people moving around downstairs, that’s what I thought it was.”

What she saw later when she went downstairs was spine-chilling. According to the police report, three laptop computers and an iPad were missing. Together, the items were worth about $2,300.

“I count my blessings that they just took things that could be replaced and they didn’t come upstairs,” she said.

If they did come upstairs, Pfaff said, things probably would have been different.

“To protect my family, what wouldn’t I do,” she said. “Hell hath no fury like a mother protecting her children. Take my stuff, I’m not going to shoot you ... touch my family and you will pray for death.”

She said the whole experience has left her feeling violated.

“It’s horrible whenever anyone has something taken. I don’t care if it’s a junky old Timex out of someone’s car. Nobody has a right to do that. No one has permission to take things from someone else,” she said.

She also is concerned that the police didn’t treat the incident more seriously, since there were people in the house at the time.

“I’m surprised the police department hasn’t been more concerned. People were home and I think that elevates it to something totally different,” Pfaff said.

According to LAPD acting deputy chief Randy Foster, the investigation is still active.

“We take all burglaries seriously, especially when a house is burglarized when people are home,” said Foster. “We are investigating this case and we will continue to follow up on it.”

If anything positive comes of the theft, Pfaff hopes people learn a lesson from this. Even though she’s always been one to lock her doors, she said some Los Alamos residents make it all too easy for would-be thieves.

“I fear for the safety of other people,” she said. ”They say, ‘it’s so safe here, we never lock our doors,’ but I always lock my doors.”