Thousand Palms Man Breaks Into A Rancho Mirage Home Using Garage Door Opener

Think living in a gated community is going to protect your from your average everyday street thug?  Guess again. It won’t.

Especially if you leave your garage door opener in your car and the car is parked in your driveway 

At 8:25 in the morning on Tuesday April 30th 2024,  47 year old Michael Zibell of Thousand Palms figured that out quickly when he broke into a home in the Escala gated community on Da Val Drive north of Frank Sinatra Drive in Rancho Mirage.

The people who live in the home were sleeping.  Zibell  burglarized the victim’s vehicle and gained access to their garage by using  the garage door opener which was in the car.

Zibell stole items from the victim’s vehicle and inside the garage.

On Wednesday May 1st  2024, at 7:11 p.m., deputies from the Rancho Mirage Special Enforcement Team located Zibell  on Bob Hope Drive and Via Marta in the City of Rancho Mirage. Zibell was booked into the John J Benoit Detention Center in Indio for first-degree burglary and possession of stolen property with a bail enhancement of $500,000. 

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office reminds you to stay vigilant and take precautions to protect your belongings and homes. Removing all valuables from vehicles and securing your vehicles and residence can help prevent theft and keep our communities safer.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Deputy Jacob Paull with the Rancho Mirage Special Enforcement Team at the Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station by calling (760) 393-3220.


Burglary suspect Michael Zibell of Thousand Palms CA

Photo from Riverside County Sheriffs Dept