Crime Beat

SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR APPROVED FOR SUPERVISED RELEASE IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

East County News Service
 
May 19, 2024 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Albert Carder, 57, a state-designated sexually violent predator, has been approved by a Superior Court judge for conditional release. He is slated to be placed in a home at 45612 Old Highway 80 in Jacumba Hot Springs by June 26.

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ARRESTS LINKED TO ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFTS AND DRUG SALES OPERATION TARGETING HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS

Fentanyl, Methamphetamine, Ammo, and Stolen Merchandise Confiscated
 
East County News Service
 
May 17, 2024 (El Cajon) -- A two-month-long investigation by the El Cajon Police Department Special Investigations Unit uncovered an operation that involved selling fentanyl to homeless residents in exchange for stolen merchandise. The investigation ended in two arrests, says Lieutenant Will Guerin, including 44-year-old Jeremy Ketchum of Santee.

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TWO DEAD IN CRASH AFTER FLEEING FROM POLICE IN EL CAJON

East County News Service
 
May 12, 2024 (El Cajon) — A motorcyclist who fled from El Cajon Police late last night crashed into two other vehicles and died at the scene, along with his female passenger.
 
Around 11:38 p.m., officers tried to stop the black Harley Davidson motorcycle for a traffic violation at 1700 East Main Street. The motorcyclist fled westbound on Main Street at a high rate of speed and rear-ended a blue Toyota Tacoma and a black Hyundai Sonata at 1300 East Main Street.

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MOTHERS RELAUNCH THE #MOMSUNITED CAMPAIGN FOR HUMANE GLOBAL DRUG POLICIES IN HONOR OF MOTHER'S DAY

Mothers from the United States, Canada, UK and Mexico are Speaking Out to Protect Drug Dependent Populations and Demand That They Receive Harm Reduction Services
 
May 11, 2024 (Spring Valley) -- In May 2024, Moms United to End the War on Drugs (U.S.) with partners Moms Stop the Harm (Canada), Recovering Justice (UK) and Red de Enlaces Nacionales (Mexico) are re-launching their #momsunited campaign (What Moms around the World Want for Mother’s Day).
 
Mothers are losing children to mass incarceration, drug war violence and accidental overdose across borders, due to to what organizers call, "the failed global war on drugs."  These moms are urging people to listen to their stories and to understand the need for a compassionate and tolerant approach to drug use and substance use disorders. They propose 8 actions that organizers claim will produce positive outcomes in saving the lives and liberties of our children:

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CHILD MOLESTATION SUSPECT FROM RAMONA DIES IN JAIL

By Miriam Raftery
 
May 6, 2024 (Ramona) – Child molestation suspect Majid Arif Almajid, 38, of Ramona died yesterday morning at the George Bailey Detention Facility in San Diego. He was found unresponsive in his bunk and passed away despite efforts to revive him by deputies, jail medical staff and Cal Fire paramedics.

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CAUGHT ON CAMERA: EL CAJON POLICE DEPT. IS CATCHING THIEVES WITH HELP FROM SOCIAL MEDIA

Nearly all El Cajon crime cases posted on social media have been solved

East County News Service

Image: Free stock photo

May 6, 2024 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon Police Department announces success of a new approach to capturing retail thieves. In March, ECPD announced implementation of an innovative crime-solving technique utilizing the power of social media.

This approach aims to swiftly identify suspects and solve cases with greater efficiency, making an immediate and tangible impact on the community and retail theft.

“We are harnessing the power of social media to disseminate information,” said Chief of Police Mike Moulton. “In a matter of minutes, we are able to provide images and descriptions of thieves. Our community has responded by assisting our efforts and giving information that leads to arrests.”


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FOUR SUSPECTED DRUG DEALERS ARRESTED IN RAMONA

East County News Service

May 6, 2024 (Ramona) -- Four people are behind bars on suspicion of selling drugs in Ramona. 

On Friday, May 3 around 7:00 a.m., deputies and detectives from the Ramona Sheriff's Substation conducted a search of a home in the 1300 block of Hanson Lane across the street from Ramona High School.

“An investigation by Sheriff's Detectives revealed drug activity may have been taking place at this home. There was also evidence that individuals wanted for outstanding warrants were staying there,” says Sergeant Sean Gallagher.


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CITIZENS' LAW ENFORCEMENT REVIEW BOARD SEEKS APPLICANTS

There is a vacancy on the Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERB) for a Supervisorial District 4 seat.
 
By Sir Milo Loftin, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
April 28, 2024 (San Diego) -- The County’s Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERB) is looking for applicants to fill an opening on its board.
 
Established in 1990, CLERB investigates citizen complaints against San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies and probation officers.
 
The current vacancy is in Supervisorial District 4, which includes the cities of Lemon Grove and La Mesa, parts of the City of San Diego, and unincorporated communities including Casa De Oro-Mount Helix, Rancho San Diego and Spring Valley.

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“SWATTING” CALL PROMPTS LOCKDOWNS AT RAMONA HIGH AND OTHER SCHOOLS IN VICINITY

By Miriam Raftery

April 25, 2024 (Ramona) – A phone call to the Sheriff’s communications center yesterday around 1:40 p.m. reported an individual armed with a firearm outside  Ramona High School. The incident prompted a lockdown of the high school and other nearby schools while deputies from Ramona and Poway stations searched the campus.

The call appears to have been a false report or “swatting” incident to provoke a law enforcement response. Nothing suspicious was found.


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JACK IN THE BOX GUNMAN ARRESTED AFTER PURSUIT

By Miriam Raftery

April 25, 2024 (La Mesa) – Stolen mail, an illegal semi-automatic ghost gun, live and spent ammunition were among the items found in the vehicle of a suspect apprehended April 20 after a pursuit.

La Mesa Police officers responded to a call reporting a man pointing a gun at a female victim at the Jack in the Box restaurant on Jackson Drive in La Mesa shortly before midnight.  The officers spotted a vehicle leaving the scene that matched a description of the suspect’s vehicle.


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STUDENT ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT ON MOUNT MIGUEL CAMPUS

 

East County News Service

April 18, 2024 (Spring Valley) – Reyvon English, 18, has been booked into San Diego County Jail for rape,  kidnapping, and other sexual assault-related charges. He allegedly assaulted a 15-year-old female student in a restroom at Mount Miguel High School in Spring Valley on April 11 around 4 p.m


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HOMICIDE IN SPRING VALLEY: WOMAN KILLED, SUSPECT LATER FOUND DEAD

By Miriam Raftery

April 17, 2024 (Spring Valley) – Sheriff’s deputies from the Rancho San Diego Station responded to a call yesterday morning reporting that someone was trying to break into a residence in the 800 block of La Presa in Spring Valley. Deputies entered and found a female victim with head trauma.

“Deputies immediately began life saving measures until relieved by paramedics. Unfortunately, the victim passed away on scene” says Lieutenant Michael Krugh.  She has been identified as Ashley Bird, 35.

The suspect, her husband, Christopher Bird,39,  was later found deceased in a vehicle.His body was found by law enforcement in Orange County. 


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EL CAJON HOMICIDE SUSPECT ARRESTED CROSSING BORDER INTO U.S.

East County News Service
 
April 16, 2024 (El Cajon) -- John Paul Campbell, 37, a suspect in the April 9 death of a homeless man in El Cajon was apprehended on April 12 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agents.
 
The victim, Robert Mansi, 41, was found by El Cajon Police officers responding to an assault near 100 West Main Street at 3 a.m. on April 9. He died at the scene with injuries consistent with blunt force trauma. His death has been classified as a homicide.

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HOW SAN DIEGO BAN ON HOMELESS CAMPS HAS FARED

 
Photos by Kristian Carreon for CalMatters 
 
CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters
 
April 13, 2024 (San Diego) -- A new bill would make it illegal for homeless residents to camp in certain places, such as near schools, throughout California. Its authors say such a ban has had great success in San Diego. But a closer look at that city paints a more nuanced picture.
 
Politicians pushing to make homeless encampments illegal across wide swaths of California point to one city as proof it will work.

This coverage was made possible in part by a grant from the A-Mark Foundation.


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SPRING VALLEY ARSON SUSPECT SOUGHT

East County News Service
 
April 10, 2024 (Spring Valley) – The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is seeking Sean Arkward, 54, for suspicion of setting fire to an occupied home in Spring Valley.
 
After receiving a call on April 9 around 7:35 p.m. from a resident reporting that their house was on fire in the 900 block of Sacramento Avenue in Spring Valley, Deputies from the Rancho San Diego Sheriff's Station along with the San Miguel Fire Department responded to the location. Units arrived within minutes and found several small fires throughout several rooms in the home.

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JONES’ SAFE ACT TO PROTECT COMMUNITIES FROM SEXUALLY VIOLENCE PREDATORS ADVANCES WITH BIPARTISAN SUPPORT

Source: Senator Brian W. Jones’ office
 
April 10, 2024 (Santee) -- Tuesday, the Senate Public Safety Committee unanimously approved Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones’s (R-San Diego) bipartisan Senate Bill 1074, called the “Sexually Violent Predator Accountability, Fairness, and Enforcement Act” (SAFE Act). Click here for SB 1074 the factsheet and here for more information about the bill and SVP issue.

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SHERIFF SEEKS HELP TO ID BORREGO SPRINGS HOMICIDE VICTIM FOUND IN 1985

East County News Service
 
Victim had a coyote tattoo and the word “life or wife” on his left forearm, as well as “Linda” and “Gypsy” on his right forearm.
 
April 9, 2024 (Borrego Springs)—The San Diego Sheriff is seeking public help to identify the victim in a cold-case homicide. The man’s body was found Saturday, October 26, 1985 on State Highway 22, between mile post markers 37 and 38 in the Borrego Springs area. The body was located down a steep embankment on the north side of the road. 

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HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION IN DOWNTOWN EL CAJON

East County News Service

Photos by Robert Gehr

April 9,2024 (El Cajon) --El Cajon Police Department is investigation the death of a man who died following an assault early this morning. 

Officers responded to reports of an assault around 3 a.m.and provided medical aid to the victim, who died at the scene in the 100 block of Main Street between Orange Avenue and Magnolia. His injuries are consistent with blunt force trauma,a ccording to Lt. K.MacArthur with ECPD.

ECM photographer Robert Gehr reports streets are open to traffic while the investigation continues.


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LA MESA POLICE INVESTIGATE SHOOTING DEATH OF MAN IN PARKED CAR

Update April 11, 2024 --The victim has been identified as Roderick Stroman, 42, of San Diego.
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
April 8, 2024 (La Mesa) – Responding to a call reporting a gunshot yesterday morning around 12:35 a.m., La Mesa Police officers found a black sedan parked in the 7100 block of Waite Drive with a shattered driver’s side window. They found an unresponsive man in the driver’s seat with a gunshot wound to his upper torso.

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JEWELRY STORE SMASH-AND-GRAB SUSPECT ARRESTED IN LA MESA

East County News Service
 
April 8, 2024 (La Mesa) — Surveillance video helped La Mesa Police identify and arrest a suspect accused of a smash-and-grab robbery at a jewelry store in Grossmont Center.
 
The robbery occurred on April 5 around 10:50 a.m. A witness inside the store called 911 to report that a man used a hammer to smash a glass display case and snatch up several expensive watches, as an employee fled to the back of the store in fear for her safety.

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EL CAJON POLICE ARREST PAROLED SEX OFFENDER IN POSSESSION OF CHILD PORN AND DRUGS

East County News Service
 
April 4, 2024 (El Cajon) — El Cajon Police have arrested a registered sex offender for possession of child pornography and drugs.
 
Alexander Ingles was homeless and living in his vehicle when officers contacted him on March 20 regarding a vehicle code violation. 

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GLORIA APPOINTS 25-YEAR SAN DIEGO POLICE VETERAN SCOTT WAHL AS NEXT CHIEF

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association
 
March 26, 2024 (San Diego) -- Mayor Todd Gloria announced Thursday that he has appointed Assistant Chief Scott Wahl, a 25-year law enforcement veteran, as San Diego’s next chief of police.

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SEXUALLLY VIOLENT PREDATOR TO BE RELEASED IN CAMPO

East County News Service

March 14, 2024 (Campo)—Yesterday, Sheriff’s deputies with the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Task Force went door to door in Campo to advise residents that Alan Earl James, a registered sexually violent predator (SVP) with the state and county, will be released into their neighborhood at 1138 Custer Road, Campo.


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TWIN BROTHERS ARRESTED FOR SERIES OF RETAIL THEFTS IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

 

March 13, 2024 (El Cajon) – El  Cajon Police have arrested twin brothers for a series of retail thefts between January 23 and February 24. Ali and Shuaib Ahmed, 28, are accused of orchestrating five retail thefts at the Ultra Beauty Store in El Cajon, allegedly stealing over $3,000 in merchandise, as well as a Feb. 24 theft at JC Penney in El Cajon, where goods valued at $700 were stolen.


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FLOODING CLOSES LEMON GROVE SHERIFF SUBSTATION TEMPORARILY

 

By Bransen P. Harper

 

March 5, 2024 (Lemon Grove) – On January 22,  immense flooding ripped through San Diego County, devastating many peoples' homes, businesses, vehicles and personal property. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Lemon Grove substation was inundated by floodwaters, which caused heavy damage to the interior of the station. 


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BENJAMIN HAROUNI VIGIL IN EL CAJON CALLS FOR PEACE AND DEEPER INVESTIGATION

By Nadin Brzezinski
 
Photos: Tom and Nadin Abbott
 
March 5, 2024 (El Cajon) -- On Thursday February 29, Dr. Benjamin Harouni (photo within a photo, left), a Jewish American dentist of Mizrahi extraction, the family is originally from Iran, was murdered in El Cajon. The alleged shooter was 29-year-old Mohammed Abdulkareem. The reality is that this shooting, in the environment of antisemitism we live in, triggered fear in the local community.
 
Jake Harouni (photo, left) is Dr. Benjamin Harouni's younger brother. Understandably, he was emotional when he read a prepared statement, a eulogy to his brother. He asked anyone who faced loss, “Where do I even begin? My brother, Doctor Benjamin Harouni, was beyond life. Those who knew him knew he was one of the most empathetic, selfless, dear souls they have ever known.”

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STOLEN VEHICLE WITH TODDLER INSIDE RECOVERED IN SPRING VALLEY; SUSPECT SOUGHT

By Miriam Raftery

 

March 5, 2024 (Spring Valley) -- Deputies are looking for a man suspected of kidnapping and stealing a vehicle in Spring Valley yesterday.  

 

Shortly before 6 p.m., the victim called to report his car was stolen from the 500 block of Sweetwater Road with his 2-year-old daughter inside.


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GUN BUYBACK EVENT ON MARCH 9

East County News Service
 
Photo: Bing Copilot
 
March 4, 2024 (Lemon Grove) -- The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is partnering with the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, La Mesa Police Department, San Diego County Probation Department and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) to get unwanted guns off our streets. 

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FREEWAY SHOOTING IN LA MESA: SUSPECT IN BLACK FORD FUSION SOUGHT

East County News Service

March 4, 2024 (La Mesa)—California Highway Patrol is seeking a black Ford Fusion sedan driven by a black man suspected of shooting and injuring a motorist on I-8 in La Mesa yesterday afternoon.

The injured motorist, an El Cajon man, was driving a red Chrysler PT Cruiser westbound on Interstate 8, just east of Grossmont Blvd. California Highway Patrol responded to reports of the shooting around 3:35 p.m.


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HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service

March 1, 2024 (Spring Valley) – Sheriff’s deputies attempting to serve civil process documents Monday morning found a woman unconscious, unresponsive and suffering signs of trauma.

The victim, Pamela Williams, 55, was found at 7:45 a.m.in a residence in the 3900 block of Conrad Drive in Spring Valley, says Lieutenant Joseph Jarjura with the Sheriff’s homicide unit.


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