A bestselling crime novelist received a frightening taste of his fiction when masked men crept onto his property in the dead of night while he was inside his $2.84 million Calabasas, Calif., home Thursday night.
Lee Goldberg, 62, the author of the highly acclaimed “Monk” and “Diagnosis Murder” book series, was alerted of the crew by his motion sensor camera of movement on his property.
Four men who donned matching hoodies, gloves and masks climbed up a steep hillside into Goldberg’s backyard under his bright security lights and rushed towards his house, alarming footage posted on his Facebook showed.
“Once again, my fiction is coming true,” the New York Times bestselling author said. “Chilean Burglary Tourists play a big part in my next Eve Ronin novel, DREAM TOWN. So what happens? Tonight they tried to hit my house… **while I was home**.”
Goldberg quickly got his phone and called the police, noticing the looming danger and seeing the thieves weren’t a group of petty criminals.
“They looked organized, they looked professional,” the author told KTLA 5.
Before police arrived, the would-be home invaders retreated back down the hill as Goldberg believed they may have caught sight of him on the phone and were scared off.
“It’s very unsettling,” he told the outlet. “It’s what I write about, this stuff, and I imagine it, but I don’t think it would happen to me.”
“The Heist” author said that the masked intruders had “cleaned out” his neighbor’s house before his run-in with the gang of thieves.
The thieves had broken through a window and ransacked the home before making off with thousands of dollars worth of clothes and jewelry, according to the outlet.
The neighbor shared that it was their second break-in since owning the property, and they are considering parting with their home as crime in the area is rising.
Goldberg told the outlet that he believes the thieves are gaining access to the gated community through a nearby golf course and hiking up the hill to avoid being detected by security.
“My daughter described that footage as like a scene from ‘The Walking Dead,’ like zombies squirming into your house. She saw these guys crab-walking through the side of our hill, faceless and she knew they meant bad things for us,” Goldberg told ABC7. “She was terrified.”
From 2019 to 2022, there were 1,255 different property crimes in the city of Calabasas — with 271 of them being residential burglaries, according to Open Justice.
Of those burglaries, 244 were made by forced entry onto the property.