SUNLAND (CNS) – A search in the hillside area around Sunland was underway today for an armed man who police say fits the description of a suspect wanted in a recent series of burglaries.

   SWAT units from the Los Angeles Police Department joined several patrol cars and at least one K-9 unit around 4:15 a.m. in the 103000 block of Sunland Boulevard, where police set up a command post and began to organize a search for the suspect, said LAPD Officer Lizeth Lomeli.

   The suspect, who police believe is the man responsible for at least eight residential and commercial burglaries in the nearby Shadow Hills neighborhood and the northeast San Fernando Valley, was last seen in the area near the Green Verdugo Reservoir close to the Foothill (210) Freeway on property owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power before he ran away and began hiding.

   A DWP security guard reportedly saw the suspect on a camera carrying a rifle and notified police. The man was described as Hispanic, about 30-40 years of age, with short dark hair.

   “There is a possibility that this is a person experiencing homelessness,” LAPD Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton told CBS2.

   Officers urged people to stay inside their homes and to call authorities if they see the suspect.

   Meanwhile, the California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert for the closure of the east and westbound Sunland Boulevard off-ramps from the Foothill (210) Freeway to limit traffic from entering the area.