In the early afternoon, a resident returned to his home on North Rodeo Gulch Road and saw a burglar inside, said Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy April Skalland.
He chased the burglar, who had a gun or a toy gun, authorities said.
As the burglar fled in a silver Lexus, the man smashed some of its windows. The resident relayed the license plate number to authorities, but it was a California exempt plate that was stolen, Skalland said.
Deputies and California Highway Patrol officers surrounded the area and issued a Project Rope, which described the man as white and about 5 feet 5 inches tall, Skalland said. He wore a sports team jacket, but there was no further description.
Project ROPE was called off about 1:55 p.m., according to emergency dispatches.
About that time, another resident on Hall Ranch Road arrived home and found the silver Lexus parked near the home. The resident's blue 1997 Ford Explorer was stolen from the garage.
Its license plate number is 3TIC192.
Deputies tried to find the Ford on Tuesday and have not said whether anything was taken from the homes.
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office asks anyone with information to call dispatch at 831-471-1121, the investigations division at 831-454-2311 or the anonymous tipline at 831-454-5995.