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Crime writer plays character in own novel as he thwarts ‘disturbing’ home invasion

A best-selling crime writer took on the role of a character in one of his own novels when he managed to thwart an attempted burglary at his Southern California home – thanks to security cameras that captured the terrifying ordeal.

Lee Goldberg, who has written dozens of crime novels including “Lost Hills” and “True Fiction,” was at home with his wife and daughter at their home in Calabasas when they received a motion sensor alert on their iPad just before 9 p.m. Thursday. .

The family then watched as chilling footage from security cameras captured four masked men in black crawling up a steep hill through the undergrowth into their backyard.

“It’s very disturbing,” Mr Goldberg later told KTLA. “It’s what I write about, this stuff, and I imagine it, but I don’t think it would happen to me.”

Mr Goldberg recalled that the men also wore hoodies and gloves, adding “they looked organised, they looked professional”.

When Mr. Goldberg picked up the phone to call the police, the would-be thieves turned and fled down the same hill they came from.

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He said he believes the men saw him pick up the phone to alert authorities.

Mr Goldberg posted the security footage to his Facebook page, pointing out the irony of what happened.

“Again, my fiction comes true. Chilean burglary tourists feature heavily in my next Eve Ronin novel, DREAM TOWN. So what’s happening? Tonight they tried to enter my house… **while I was home**,” he wrote in the post.

“This happened to LOST HILLS…I ended the book with a huge wildfire in the Santa Monica Mountains…and a few months later it happened just as I described it.”

Chilling footage shows the would-be thieves sneaking through the bushes to Lee Goldberg’s estate in Calabasas on Aug. 10 (Lee Goldberg/Facebook)

Mr Goldberg’s neighbour, who did not wish to be identified, told KTLA that his own home had been broken into just before Thursday’s thwarted home invasion.

The neighbor said it wasn’t the first time his home had been targeted, leading him to consider leaving the area.

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As they live in a gated community, Mr Golberg said he believes thieves get in by going to a nearby golf course and walking up hills to access the properties.

“We live in a gated community and that gives you a false sense of security,” Goldberg said.

“I think you can only try to be vigilant. I’m just glad I didn’t go out and confront them, that was my instinct.”

Local authorities say the recent incidents in the area are being investigated. Police would not confirm whether any arrests have been made.

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