Crime Beat

COUPLE FOUND DEAD IN EL CAJON HOME

East County News Service

Photo courtesy of 10  News, an ECM news partner

June 23, 2022 (El Cajon) – The San Diego Sheriff’s homicide unit is investigating the deaths of a man and woman found dead in their home in the 200 block of East Bradley Ave. in El Cajon yesterday morning.

According to Lieutenant Joseph Jarjura, “Both victims appeared to have head trauma.”

ECM news partner 10 News reports that the couple was found by their daughter, a minor, around 9:47 a.m.


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SWORD-WIELDING MAN PROMPTS SWAT TEAM STANDOFF IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

June 22, 2023 (El Cajon )  -- A man who swung a sword at neighbors and threatened violence prompted a SWAT team to respond today ending in his arrest 

Around 8 a.m., El Cajon Police began receiving calls reporting a man swinging a large sword at people in the parking lot of 1018 East Lexington.

“The man with the sword went back inside an apartment, and then returned to the parking lot making threats to shoot people, while simulating a gun in his waistband,” says Lieutenant Jeremiah Larson, adding that no gun was seen by any of the victims or witnesses.


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WELLMAN SIMMONDS ARRESTED FOR MURDER: FUGITIVE SERVED ON CAMPO PLANNING GROUP, LED WATER DISTRICT IN LAKE MORENA

By Miriam Raftery

Donald Michael Santini,  aka Wellman "Wells" Simmonds

June 13, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – A fugitive wanted for the murder of a Florida woman nearly 40 years ago, as well as a robbery in Texas, has been leading a double life in Campo. There, he brazenly held public positions under an assumed name.

On Wednesday, Donald Michael Santini, known locally under the alias Wellman “Wells” Simmonds, was arrested in Campo's Lake Morena community by U.S. Marshals, ECM news partner 10 News reports.

Simmonds served on the Campo-Lake Morena Community Planning Group as well as president of the board of directors for the Lake Morena Views Mutual Water Company, a troubled water district where nitrate contamination has left district residents forced to drink bottled water for the past three years, as ECM reported.

“Everyone was surprised. There was nothing unusual about him,” Billie Jo Jannen, Chair of the planning group, told ECM.


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MAN WANTED FOR TRYING TO LURE CHILD IN PINE VALLEY PARK

By Miriam Raftery

June 13, 2023 (Pine Valley) – The Sheriff’s department is asking for public help to find a man who falsely told a 12-year-old girl that her mother had asked him to pick her up. The girl told authorities that she had returned to Pine Valley Park after a movie screening Friday just after 9 p.m. to pick up belongings she had had left behind, when a tall, heavy-set man wearing a hoodie approached and asked her name.

“She gave the man a false name as she continued to walk away. After receiving the false name, the man told the girl that her mother had given him permission to pick her up,” says Lieutenant Jeff Ford with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Rural Command. “The girl immediately fled and notified her friends and family. The man did not follow her. The girl was not hurt.”


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CALIFORNIA SENATE VOTES UNANIMOUSLY TO PROTECT “COUNTLESS CHILDREN” FROM TRAFFICKING

By J.W. August

 

June 1, 2023 (Sacramento, CA)-- In a rare unanimous vote, the state Senate has passed legislation that would make trafficking of minors a serious felony on May 25th.


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32-YEAR-OLD WOMAN DIES IN SANTEE DETENTION FACILITY

By Miriam Raftery

June 1, 2023 (Santee) – Roselee Bartolacci, 32, was found unresponsive in her cell shortly after midnight on May 29 at the Las Colinas Detention facility in Santee.


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SUPERVISORS APPROVE PLAN FOR ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION

Source: County of San Diego Communications

Photo:  Mobile Crisis Response Team worker preparing to go out on a call

 

By Chuck Westerheide, County of San Diego Communications Office

May 27, 2023 (San Diego) –People accused of low-level, non-violent crimes will be redirected away from jails and into other programs. In a bipartisan 4-0 vote, the County Board of Supervisors approved this major shift in direction with the Alternatives to Incarceration plan.


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MOTHER ARRESTED FOR CHILD ENDANGERMENT AFTER OVERDOSE IN EL CAJON MOTEL

East County News Service

 

May 26, 2023 (El Cajon) – A woman staying an El Cajon motel paid for by a county program for the homeless overdosed on Fentanyl this afternoon. 


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DOG KILLED AFTER ATTACKING DEA AGENT

By Miriam Raftery

May 26, 2023 (La Mesa) An agent with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency shot and killed a dog at a Mesa resident on Tuesday, May 23, after the dog attacked an agent.


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SWAT STANDOFF IN LEMON GROVE ENDS AS SUSPECT SURRENDERS

 

Update 3:15 p.m. -- The seven-hour SWAT standoff has ended. According to the Sheriff's Dept., the suspect, Brandon Andrade, walked out of the house and surrendered after deputies used chemical agents. Mental Health Clinicians with the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) will evaluate Andrade before he is booked into San Diego Central Jail. He is expected to face three counts of attempted murder charges. The evacuation notification and road closures will be lifted in an hour.

East County News Service

May 25, 2023 (Lemon Grove) – The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is working to peacefully resolve a SWAT standoff in Lemon Grove. A suspect has barricaded himself inside his home and is refusing to come out after firing multiple shots and injuring a neighbor. 

Skyline Drive between Longdale Drive and Palm Street is closed as deputies continue to negotiate with the suspect, who may have other weapons. Deputies evacuated eight homes in the neighborhood. Lemon Grove Early Childhood Education Center was also placed on lockdown as a precaution.


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DRIVER SOUGHT IN FATAL LEMON GROVE HIT AND RUN

By Miriam Raftery
May 25, 2023 (Lemon Grove) – Authorities seek public help to locate a vehicle that
struck a  woman at Broadway and Harris streets in Lemon Grove, then fled
the area on Wednesday, May 24 shortly after 12:30 a.m.

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SUPERVISOR ANDERSON AWARDS GRANT TO CITY OF EL CAJON FOR MOBILE CAMERA TRAILERS

East County News Service

 

May 25, 2023 (El  Cajon) --  County Supervisor Joel Anderson, who represents El Cajon at the Board of Supervisors, has awarded a grant of more than $40,000 grant to the City of El Cajon through the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program (NRP). The City plans to use the funds to purchase mobile camera trailers for its law enforcement agencies.


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INVESTIGATIONS TARGET SUBSTITUTE TEACHER IN ALPINE

East County News Service

May 24, 2023 (Alpine)-- The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has been informed of allegations of inappropriate use of social media by a substitute teacher working at Joan MacQueen Middle School within the Alpine Unified School District.


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FOUR DOGS SHOT AND KILLED IN JAMUL, DUMPED IN SAME PLACE WHERE ANOTHER DOG’S BODY WAS DUMPED

By Miriam Raftery

May 23, 2023 (Jamul) – Is there a serial dog killer in Jamul? The San Diego Sheriff and San Diego County AnimalControlofficer are investigating that chilling possibility.


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FENTANYL ENFORCEMENT SURGE RESULTS IN MASSIVE INCREASE IN SEIZURES AND ARRESTS

Photo: U.S. Attorney Andy Grossman, San Diego

Source: U.S. Attorney’s office

May 23, 2023 (San Diego) -- Law enforcement leaders today announced that an unprecedented two-month fentanyl-enforcement surge along the southwest border has resulted in the seizure of about 4,721 pounds of fentanyl, 1,700 pounds of fentanyl precursors and more than 200 arrests of alleged smugglers, traffickers and dealers within the Southern and Central Districts of California.


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ATTORNEY GENERAL BONTA ANNOUNCES LAWSUIT AGAINST TELECOMMUNICATIONS CO. OVER BILLIONS OF ILLEGAL SCAM ROBOCALLS

577 Million Robocalls made to CA phones on National Do Not Call Registry, including Medicare and Social Security scams

May 23, 2023 (Sacramento)-- California Attorney General Rob Bonta today, as part of a bipartisan coalition of 49 attorneys general, announced a lawsuit against Avid Telecom for allegedly making billions of unlawful robocalls in California and across the nation.. Those robocalls included Social Security Administration scams, Medicare scams, and employment scams; two robocall examples can be found here and here

Today’s complaint is the result of efforts by the nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force, which Attorney General Bonta helped launch last year and is charged with taking legal action against telecommunications companies that perpetuate robocall traffic.


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WHO KILLED CLAUDETTE POWERS? GENETIC GENEOLOGY IDENTIFIES MURDER VICTIM FOUND IN WARNER SPRINGS CAMPGROUND 37 YEARS AGO

Male body found at same campground remains unidentified, may be related

East County News Service

May 23, 2023 (Warner Springs) — A body found near campsites on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation in Warner Springs on Feb. 16, 1986 has been identified through genetic genealogy as Claudette Jean Zebolsky Powers.


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SANTEE GROPING SUSPECT ARRESTED

East County News Service

May 21, 2023  (Santee) – Jose  Lawrence Ruvalcaba, 29, is in custody for allegedly groping a 12-year-old girl on May 18.

A 12-year-old student from Chett F. Harritt School was walking towards  Big Rock Park on Arlette Street on May 18 shortly before 4 p.m. when a man approached her and inappropriately touched her chest, says Lieutenant Anthony O’Boyle with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

According to O’Boyle, a friend who was with the victim tried to intervene by pushing away the suspect. He took off on an electric black and gray scooter. 

An employee at the Santee Teen Center, which is also located at Big Rock Park, called the Sheriff's Department on Friday, May 19 just before 6:30 p.m. when he saw a man who matched the all-black clothing description of the suspect and his scooter.


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LA MESA POLICE TO HOLD “CLICK IT OR TICKET” ENFORCEMENT CAMPAIGN, REMINDS MOTORISTS TO WEAR SEAT BELTS

Seat Belt Safety Campaign Runs Through Memorial Day 

 

May 20, 2023 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Police Department reminds everyone taking a trip to visit friends or family over the Memorial Day Weekend to always buckle up and keep children in child safety seats. This year’s Click It or Ticket campaign is from May 22-June 4. 


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SHERIFF WARNS PARENTS OF GROPING INCIDENT IN SANTEE NEAR SCHOOL AND PARK

Source: San Diego Sheriff

May 20, 2023 (Santee) -- Detectives with the Sheriff's Child Abuse Unit and the Santee Sheriff's Station want the public's help in identifying and locating a man wanted for groping a child in Santee. The alleged incident occurred  on Thursday, May 18 just before 4:00 p.m. near Big Rock Park in the 8100 block of Arlette Street.

“A 12-year-old student from Chett F. Harritt School was walking towards the park when a man approached her,” says Lieutenant Anthony O’Boyle. “The man inappropriately touched her chest. A friend who was with the victim tried to intervene by pushing away the suspect. He took off on an electric black and gray scooter. He was last seen going eastbound towards Mesa Road.”


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SPRING VALLEY SEX OFFENDER SUSPECT DIES IN CUSTODY

East County News Service

May 19, 2023 (Spring Valley) – Maximillian Aguirre, 71, of Spring Valley has died in a hospital while in custody.


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SHERIFF RELEASES VIDEO OF DEPUTY-INVOLVED SHOOTING IN SPRING VALLEY

By Miriam Raftery

May 17, 2023 (Spring Valley) -- The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has released video from a deputy-involved shooting that occurred on April 26 in Spring Valley. The deputy fired several rounds, seriously injuring a man who had charged at deputies with a metal bedframe in his residence in the 3600 block of South Barcelona Street.


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VICTIMS KILLED AT AIR BNB IN UNINCORPORATED EL CAJON IDENTIFIED

East County News Service

May 16, 2023 (El Cajon) –

 

The San Diego County Medical Examiner has identified two homicide victims killed in unincorporated El Cajon on April 27 and determined that gunshot wounds caused their deaths.


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HOMELESS WOMAN DIES IN CUSTODY AT LAS COLINAS

East County News Service

May 15, 2023 (Santee) – Patricia Louise Adamson, 63,  died May 3 at the Las Colinas Detention Facility.  Homeless in San Diego, she was arrested Feb. 13 by San Diego Police Department on a vandalism charge.


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WOMAN ARRESTED FOR MAILING DRUG-LACED LETTERS TO COUNTY JAIL

East County News Service

May 15, 2023 (Santee) – A  Santee woman has been arrested on suspicion of mailing drug-laced letters to a county jail.

According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, on four separate occasions between December 2022 and April 2023, deputies assigned to the Sheriff's Mail Processing Center intercepted letters intended for an individual in a detention facility. They noticed the letters had the appearance of being soaked in an unknown liquid and dried.

Deputies tested the letters and determined they had been soaked in liquid methamphetamine. The letters were then seized as evidence.


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TWO MEN WANTED IN CONNECTION TO A HOMICIDE IN LEMON GROVE

East County News Service

May 15, 2023 (Lemon Grove)-- The Sheriff’s Department is looking for murder suspects connected to a shooting that occurred in Lemon Grove and are asking for the publics help.

"On March 18 around 10:00 p.m., deputies from the Lemon Grove Sheriff's Substation responded to a report of a shooting in the 2800 block of Lemon Grove Avenue. While searching the area, deputies found 39-year-old Gregory Moore unconscious in a car at the intersection of Lemon Grove Avenue and San Miguel Avenue. He was later pronounced dead.

Sheriff's Homicide Investigators have identified 32-year-old Ronald Shazun Perry and 34-year-old Daniel Ethridge as suspects. Both have active arrest warrants for homicide.

Perry is a Black man standing 5’9” tall and weighing 180 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. Perry has prior convictions for theft, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle and assault with a deadly weapon.

Ethridge is a Black man standing 5’9” tall and weighing 165 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. Ethridge has prior convictions for assault with a deadly weapon and shooting into an inhabited dwelling.


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VIOLENT CRIME RATE IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY RISES 2% TO HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE 2012

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego(link is external), a member of the San Diego Online News Association

May 10, 2023 (San Diego) - Violent crimes in San Diego County rose by2% in the first half of 2022 to the highest level in 10 years, but property crime continued to trend down, SANDAG reported on Thursday.


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EL CAJON POLICE RELEASES VIDEO WITH TIPS TO SPOT SKIMMERS, AVOID ID THEFT

East County News Service

April 22, 2023 (El Cajon) – After ECM reported on EBT scams involving skimming devices,  El Cajon Police Department revealed that it’s recovered 12 skimmers from retailers in the city and released a video with tips for consumers to avoid ID theft wherever you slide a credit card or EBT card.

ECPD included this message: 


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EL CAJON REVOKES PERMIT FOR MOTEL WHERE ALLEGED SEXUAL ASSAULT OCCURRED

By Miriam Raftery

April 19, 2023 (El Cajon) — El Cajon’s planning commissioners have voted unanimously to revoke the approved status of the Motel 6 on Montrose Court after two registered sex offenders were arrested for alleged sexual assault of an under-age girl. 


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MAN ARRESTED IN EL CAJON DIES IN VISTA DETENTION FACILITY

By Miriam Raftery

April 18, 2023 (El Cajon) — Eddie Faulkner, 53, was arrested by El Cajon Police on November 7th last year on charges of failing to register as a sex offender and parole revocation. Last night, he died in the Vista Detention Facility.


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