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Recent YLP Home Invasion Leaves Community on Edge

COARSEGOLD – A recent home invasion in Yosemite Lakes Park remains unsolved, leaving some YLP residents on edge, especially after a similar incident took place in the same general area less than a week earlier.

On Nov. 6, the Madera County Sheriffs Office received a call regarding a potential burglary taking place at a residence on the 41000 block of Lilley Mountain Drive. The incident was reported to have occurred at approximately 3 a.m.

According to MCSO, deputies arrived and interviewed the alleged victim who said he “woke to find someone inside his home appearing to be burglarizing his property.” According to initial accounts, the intruder was reportedly armed and held the man at gunpoint.

The victim, who only spoke Spanish, was not physically harmed and no property was stolen.

MCSO spokeswoman Kayla Serrato said Wednesday that “there are no new developments to report” in that incident.

Wednesday afternoon, Serrato also confirmed several additional details regarding a similar incident that took place in YLP on Nov. 1.

In that incident, MCSO reported that at 11:24 p.m., “A deputy was dispatched to Corral Drive for a report of a male entering a residence without permission and then leaving on foot. The male was later located a short distance away and arrested for several misdemeanor charges.”

That individual, according to the MCSO log and Serrato, was booked into the Madera County DOC on charges of trespassing and public intoxication. It remains unclear whether he was free on Nov. 6 and is a possible person of interest in the Nov. 6 home invasion.

MCSO detectives “are still processing evidence collected at the scene” of the Nov. 6 incident “to analyze any possible link to the Nov. 1 incident,” Serrato said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the unsolved Nov. 6 home invasion continues to be a hot topic of conversation in YLP.

One Lilley Mountain Drive resident — who wishes to stay anonymous for security reasons — says the incident made her miss her large-breed guard dog. She also said she slept with a “big club” for a few nights following the incident.

But longtime YLP resident and local real estate agent Bridget Balestra said she still feels confident in her community.

“Unfortunately, no matter where you live, crime exists,” Balestra said Wednesday. “In my experience, from both growing up in YLP and now living here with my family, residents and neighbors look out for each other. I feel fortunate to be a member of this community.”

Yosemite Lakes Park Security Patrol Officer Thatcher Dougherty said he and his colleagues remain vigilant. However he points out the suspect description released by MCSO in the Nov. 6 incident — “a white male adult, in his early 20’s with a slender build…seen wearing a ski type mask” and carrying a handgun is “fairly general.”

As a safety tip to residents, Officer Thatcher advised: “As always, keep your doors and windows locked, and if you see someone or something suspicious, call us. We can make contact and get the Sheriff’s Department involved. Look out for your neighbors.”

*George Lurie contributed to this report.

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