BEVERLY HILLS—The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office confirmed to Canyon News that the man posing as a realtor in order to steal from open houses has been sentenced to 12 years and 4 months in state prison. The ruling was issued on May 15 after the defendant pled no contest to one felony count of first degree residential robbery and one felony count of first degree burglary. In addition to these charges, Tony Chung paid special admittance to felony allegations of stealing $100,000 worth of property which added five years to his sentence.
Christine von Helmolt, the DA prosecuting the case, attested that Chung was involved in a series of Beverly Hills and Calabasas burglaries. The burglaries took place between July and September of 2014. Chung would enter open houses while posing as a real estate agent before proceeding to steal valuables such as expensive jewelry. Detective Solomon of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Lost Hills Division confirmed to the Canyon News that Chung had been confronted on at least two separate occasions—once by a homeowner and once by a realtor. One of these instances resulted in the defendant attacking and injuring the individual.
The burglar was eventually caught by the Los Angeles Police Department in October 2014. Solomon speculated that the LAPD had a break in the case after releasing a video of Chung in one of the homes. Making this footage public brought in a tip from someone who recognized him.
Chung originally faced 12 counts of felony charges including eight counts of first degree burglary with a person present, two counts of first degree residential robbery, one count of receiving stolen property, and one count of battery. The DA also recommended that his bail be set at $2 million. Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office informed Canyon News that most of these charges were dropped for a plea deal.
Details about Chung’s life aside from the location of his home on the 18000 block of South Vermont in Los Angeles. When questioned about the defendant’s possible motives, Detective Solomon replied “I believe there was some sort of financial issue.” The detective also relayed that there was “no force or any issue with his arrest.”