(KTLA) – A California homeowner and crime novelist thwarted a home invasion Thursday night thanks to the surveillance cameras in his yard.

Lee Goldberg, the author of dozens of crime thrillers including “Lost Hills” and “True Fiction,” was home with his wife and daughter at their Calabasas residence when they received a notification from the home’s motion sensor a little after 9 p.m.

It wasn’t the occasional bobcat or coyote that Goldberg expected, but rather four masked men climbing up a steep hillside into his backyard.

They were dressed in hoodies and gloves, the bestselling author told Nexstar’s KTLA.

“They looked organized,” he said. “They looked professional.”

calabasas thwarted home invasion
Video provided by Lee Goldberg shows would-be theives crawl out of bushes in Calabasas on Aug. 10, 2023. (Lee Goldberg)

Goldberg picked up the phone to alert the authorities. That’s when the would-be thieves turned around and went right back down the hill they came from.

Goldberg said he thinks they saw him calling police.

“It’s very unsettling. It’s what I write about, this stuff, and I imagine it, but I don’t think it would happen to me,” Goldberg said.

Goldberg’s neighbor had been burglarized just before Thursday’s thwarted home invasion.

The neighbor, who did not want to be identified, told KTLA that thieves broke through a window and got away with thousands of dollars worth of clothes and jewelry.

The neighbor added that his house has been hit once before, prompting him consider moving from the area.

“We live in a gated community and it gives you this false sense of security,” Goldberg said, adding that he thinks thieves go through a nearby golf course and hike up hills to get into homes. “I think all you can do is try and be vigilant. I’m just glad I didn’t go outside and confront them, that was my instinct.”

Authorities told KTLA that recent incidents are under investigation, but would not confirm if any arrests had been made.