Case with a happy ending

When a thief broke into John Ambrosio’s car recently and stole important personal property, the Agoura Hills resident never expected he would get his belongings back.

Ambrosio is a coach for the Agoura-Oak Park youth football league and he left valuable team equipment inside the car when it was robbed the night of Aug. 27 in Agoura.

The vehicle was left unlocked.

“I had some football kneepads, which were probably the most important thing (they took) because it’s the start of the season and you can’t find the kneepads once the season starts, you’ve got to wait a little while,” Ambrosio said. “I had the knee pads in there, grocery bags, things like that.”

Ambrosio also lost a set of helmet chin straps, a bag of football pant belts, a safety vest, a jersey and a money change holder.

Dep. Chris Lohman of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was working a double shift the day he interviewed Ambrosio about the burglary.

“The second half of my shift I had just checked the area to see if anyone was where they’re not supposed to be,” Lohman said. “I stopped at the 7-Eleven on Thousand Oaks Boulevard and saw a bunch of trash behind some bushes. I was able to identify it as the property that was taken from (Ambrosio).”

He had found the stolen football equipment, a jersey and a safety vest.

Lohman gathered up the items and returned to Ambrosio’s home to give them back.

“We’re a little football league, we’re on a shoestring budget, so to get that gear back right before the game was pretty neat,” Ambrosio said. “I thought it was pretty special (Lohman) brought that stuff back.” The detective believes the burglars discarded the sports equipment when they realized it wasn’t valuable.

The lesson learned by Ambrosio: Don’t leave important property inside cars or trucks and keep doors locked at all times, even when you think your neighborhood is safe.

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