Prowler may be a frequent visitor to area, police believe
November 26, 2009 (El Cajon)— Southeast El Cajon has had approximately 30 hot prowl burglaries and attempted burglaries since fall 2008. A hot prowl burglary occurs when occupants are home, often at night while residents are asleep. The latest in this series occurred early Saturday morning in the area of Jamacha and Granite Hills.
In earlier cases, the suspect committed several burglaries in the same area over a few days, and then would not strike again for some time. The cases on Saturday morning are the first since September. Investigators believe that the suspect may visit the area on a regular basis and is familiar with neighborhoods where crimes are being committed.
The suspect commonly takes small items such as wallets and purses, and enters homes through unlocked doors and windows. Police urge residents to lock their doors and windows, especially at night.
The police department would like to remind members of the community to be vigilant and aware of what is happening in their neighborhoods. During many of the incidents, victims reported hearing suspicious noises during the night, but failed to call the police department. Members of the community should immediately call 911 to report any suspicious activity. When police are made aware of an incident at the time it is occurring, officers can immediately move into the area, and there will be a greater chance of apprehending a suspect.
On November 25 at 6pm a "reverse" 911 went out to residents of the Granite Hills area reminding them to lock their doors and windows even when they are home. It is also to let people know to call 911 if they have someone inside their home or if they see a prowler in the area. If you do see someone that does not belong or is acting strange, police urge that you call and give a complete description of the person and direction of travel.
Other steps you can take to protect yourself include installing better outdoor lighting and forming a neighborhood watch group by calling Officer Dan Hansen at (619)441-1597. In addition, El Cajon Police will open a storefront at Parkway Plaza weekdays from December 7-31, offering additional safety tips.
Anyone with information on potential suspects in these hot prowl cases should contact the El Cajon Police Department Investigations Division at (619) 579-3321.