A serial robber was arrested after a California woman returned home from the Thanksgiving holiday to find a barefoot suspect hiding in the closet of her luxury apartment, armed with a pizza cutter, police said.
“She was in the corner of my closet,” said Brittney Heintzman, 35. told CBS News On Dec. 1, she found her neighbor Wendy Wilkinson, 43, crouched in her bedroom closet at Skyloft Apartments in Irvine, holding a pizza cutter, cutting board and kitchen towel.
“It's like your worst nightmare, right?'' The victim said he had just moved into the apartment complex, which had a one-bedroom, 733-square-foot unit. Costs about $2,900 per month —And now we have decided to move.
“Where was the security?” She he told KTLA. “I feel like everything has been stripped away.
“When you have someone go through every drawer of yours, every cabinet of yours, take your passport, make everything personal, you're just left with so many questions,” Heintzman said.
Heintzman said she first noticed that the front door to her unit was unlocked and her apartment had been ransacked when she returned home from vacation on Dec. 1.
She said she then opened a bedroom closet and found Wilkinson hiding inside.
“She just looked at me like a deer in headlights, and I just screamed, 'Get out! Get out!'” Heintzman said.
Heintzman said Wilkinson responded, “Please don't hurt me,” before running out of the apartment.
“But it made me even more frustrated,” the victim said. “I thought, 'Are you going to hurt me?'” Because he has a pizza cutter in his hand. I don't know. “
After the suspect fled the apartment, Heintzman said he and a friend chased Wilkinson through the apartment and called police.
They took videos and images of her on their cell phones, and a neighbor's Ring doorbell camera showed the suspect running down the hallway, barefoot, wearing blue leggings and a white crop top, with her hair tied up in a bun. The image was captured.
When Irvine police finally arrived on the scene, Heintzman told police they noticed many items missing from the apartment.
“She took my sunglasses, she took my Dior handbag, she took my socks, she took my work permit, my work badge, my passport, and the credit card that I was going to use the next day,” Heinzman told CBS at a car wash down the street. Told. news.
Officers allegedly found more than $30,000 worth of belongings in Heinzman's apartment, car and storage room.
Given all of the stolen items, police believe the suspect must have broken into Heintzman's apartment multiple times in the past.
It remains unclear how she was able to get inside.
“Based on the length of time the victim was absent and the amount of property the suspect was able to steal, we believe it is likely that the suspect entered the residence multiple times to retrieve items.” Kyle Oldorp said in a statement.
Court records also show that Wilkinson is out on bail for another robbery case.
She later pleaded not guilty to first-degree burglary and identity theft in the Heinzman case.