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Burglars take note of victims routines
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A retired Manteca couple returning home from church surprised a burglar rummaging through their valuables shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday morning in the 100 block of Mylnar Avenue, north of East Yosemite Avenue.

The lesson they said they learned was not to have a routine time schedule in leaving the house in case someone is watching for a  set pattern with thoughts of committing a residential burglary.  

Coming back home, the woman entered through the front door of her residence with her husband close behind noticing her silver plate dinner service of knives, forks and spoons dumped in the middle of an overstuffed chair with collectible spoons littering the floor. They then heard a scratching noise coming from a back bedroom.

They had unintentionally changed their timeline by not going out to breakfast after church last Sunday.   That put them in their front door some 45 minutes ahead of schedule to anyone casing the area.

She said she “knew something was going on” when she saw the broken glass in a door off the dining room and her silver service set dumped onto  the living room chair. It was a gift at their wedding many years before.

Her husband said he was slow to realize what was happening until he heard his wife yell: “Stop – Stop!”  He said he knew he could have tackled him if he had only reacted sooner.

She said she saw the young intruder exit out of their rear bedroom door and run by the patio windows.   Despite a recent knee replacement, the woman dashed out the dining room and through the patio chasing the 16- to 20-year-old suspect to the rear concrete wall at the back of the house.  The thief made his escape through the adjoining alleyway, she added.

“It looked like he had it all wrapped up in a black sweat shirt that he held in front of his chest as he ran – a hoodie covered his face,” the woman added.

“My jewelry box was emptied, turned completely upside down,” she said.  

Her most cherished possession was a Black Hills Gold ring that her husband had given her when she was just 16 and they were young sweethearts.  The silver plate service that had been given to them on their wedding day “is only important to me,” she said.  

“They can’t melt silver plate down,” she added.

Neighbors and police both scoured the area in search of the suspect but to no avail.  The couple had both served with the Manteca Seniors Helping Area Residents and Police unit for over nine years.

Having lived in the same house since 1976, she said they feel very violated that someone would break in and steal their valuables.