Cops know how to break into houses. They have to be able to break in to find people who are sick/dying/can’t pick up the phone. I have seen them do it, they can break into a window without damaging it within a couple of minutes, usually under 90 seconds.
For sure Dorner knows: the area,
how to tell if a home is occupied;
how to break into a home.
And probably, Dorner knows how to tell if a house has a basement, and how to live in such basement unnoticed.
He would need to run the risk of living in occupied homes. He’s only have to cheque the real estate listings for unoccupied homes.
It's Los Angeles -- they don't have basements there.
Respectfully, I’ve lived in So.Cal. since 1981, have never seen a basement, here. Thanks.