Two men have been arrested for allegedly breaking into the Baldwin Vista home of mayoral candidate Rep. Karen Bass last Friday and stealing two firearms, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed Wednesday.
Cops identified the suspects as Patricio Munoz, 42, and Juan Espinoza, 24, who were tracked to a vehicle near Hazeltine Avenue and Sylvan Street in Van Nuys on Tuesday night. Both men were booked into jail for residential burglary. Munoz is being held on $500,000 bail, while Espinoza is being held without bail, LAPD said.
Bass says she came home on the evening of the Sept. 9 to find her two legally registered handguns had been stolen. Bass told the Los Angeles Times that firearms were securely stowed away in a Brinks safe, which itself was hidden in the back of a closet. But the suspected burglars apparently made short work of that security feature, taking the guns but leaving behind cash, electronics and other valuables.
“It’s unnerving and, unfortunately, it’s something that far too many Angelenos have faced,” Bass said.
A Bass spokeswoman told the Times that the candidate has never sought a permit to carry a handgun.
Asked if she knew of anyone who might have targeted her for the robbery, Bass told Fox 11, “I have no idea.”
At a mayoral debate earlier this year, Bass said she rated her feeling of personal safety in L.A. a perfect 10 (though that only meant “mostly safe”). Now, she tells the station, “My safety was shattered.”
Still, Bass says the burglary won’t necessarily cause her to change any of her policies, saying, “I thought from the beginning that the number-one job of the mayor is to make sure that Angelinos are safe.”
To those who are surprised to discover that Bass is a gun-owner, she says, “I had guns for personal safety, as do many people. I think that gun control is extremely important. But I have never believed that people—if they wanted to have guns—should not have them.”
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