Crime Beat

UNCONFIRMED REPORT OF MAN WITH GUN NEAR GROSSMONT CENTER PROMPTED SEARCH

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Google Earth

April 4, 2018 (La Mesa) – Yesterday, La Mesa Police sent a community alert out warning motorists to avoid the area of Center Drive and Grossmont Boulevard near Grossmont Center shopping mall and Grossmont Medical Center, due to police “actively searching the area” for a man reportedly sighted openly carrying a gun.

CBP OFFICERS STOP TEENAGERS ALLEGEDLY SMUGGLING FENTANYL AND COCAINE

 

Source:  U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

April 2, 2018 (San Diego) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro port of entry thwarted two alleged narcotic smuggling attempts after discovering one teen carrying packages of fentanyl strapped to his body and a young woman concealing fentanyl and cocaine in her vehicle.

ONE SUSPECT ARRESTED, ANOTHER STILL AT LARGE IN SPRING VALLEY GAS STATION ROBBERY

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 31, 2018 (Spring Valley) – Two young men robbed a Valero gas station at 2835 Sweetwater Road in Spring Valley shortly after noon today.  One of the suspects, described as a black male juvenile, pointed a silver .357 magnum at the store clerk and demanded cash. The other suspect was described as a Hispanic juvenile.

SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR PROPOSED FOR RELEASE IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Herman Smith, San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept.

March 30, 2018 (Jacumba Hot Springs) — A hearing is set for April 27 on proposed release of Herman Smith at 42920 Desert Rose Ranch Road in Jacumba Hot Springs.  Smith has been convicted of sexually violent crimes including rape by force in 1993, oral copulation with a minor under age 14 by force or fear, and sodomizing a victim under age 14 with force. He has also been convicted of raping a drugged victim.

DULZURA MAN ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF POISONING HIS WIFE

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 29, 2018 (Dulzura) -- Race Remington Uto, 27, of Dulzura has been arrested for the attempted murder and poisoning of his wife.

After she was hospitalized with an unknown illness, medical staff found extremely high levels of Thallium in her system, a heavy metal that has been used in the past as a rat poison and ant killer.

DUI CHECKPOINT IN SANTEE AREA ON FRIDAY

 

East County News Service

March 28, 2018 (Santee) – The Sheriff’s Santee station will conduct a DUI and driver’s license checkpoint on Friday, March 30th from 8:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. at an undisclosed location.

Checkpoints aim to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from alcohol-involved accidents by getting offenders off the streets and by educating the public on dangers of impaired driving, as well as the importance of designating a sober driver. Checkpoints also assure that each motorist has a valid driver’s license.

YOUTH’S JOY RIDE ENDS IN FIERY CRASH IN SPRING VALLEY

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 28, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A boy alleged to have stolen his family’s pickup truck led police on a chase that ended in a crash into a Spring Valley gas station, igniting a fire that caused $200,000 worth of damage.

Patch.com reports that the incident started around 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday when a Sheriff’s deputy tried to stop a green Toyota Tacoma pickup truck driving without headlights on Jamacha Boulevard.  The driver refused to stop and sped off, losing control as he turned onto Sweetwater Springs Boulevard.

SHERIFF HOSTS COFFEE WITH COMMUNITY FOR SPRING VALLEY AND RANCHO SAN DIEGO AREAS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2018 (Spring Valley) – The Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s Station will host a coffee with the community on Thursday, March 29 at the Spring Valley Teen Center, 838 Kempton Street in Spring Valley.

The Rancho San Diego substation serves communities from Mt. Helix south to Jamul.

JAIL, FINES FOR GIVING ALCOHOL TO MINORS

 

2013: 11

2014: 8

2015: 13

2016: 12

2017: 12

Those are the numbers of San Diegans under the age of 21 who had alcohol in their system when they died, according to County Medical Services annual data.

Since those 56 young people were not old enough to legally buy alcohol, you have to ask yourself, where did they get it?

Chances are they got it from adults.

ARSON SUSPECT ARRESTED IN SPRING VALLEY

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 23, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A man suspected of intentionally seting a fire at 10767 Jamacha Blvd. in Spring Valley was detained last night at 9:43 p.m. by deputies from the Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s station.

He was rescued from a burning home and detained by a deputy for allegedly set the fire. The suspect was transported to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries related to the fire, said Sergeant Kotaro Murashige.

Members of the Sheriff’s bomb/arson unit are investigating the cause and origin of the blaze.

11 ARRESTED AT CLOUD 9 WELLNESS, ILLEGAL DISPENSARY IN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

March 22, 2018 (El Cajon) – Nine employees and two security guards were arrested today after El Cajon Police Department officers, aided by the San Diego County Integrated Narcotic Task Force, served a search warrant at Cloud 9 Wellness, a non-licensed marijuana dispensary operating illegally in the city of El Cajon.

 A large amount of cash and marijuana was seized as evidence. All of those arrested are adults, according to ECPD.

“This is the second search warrant served on Cloud Nine Wellness for selling marijuana within the City of El Cajon this month,” says Lt. Walt Miller with ECPD’s investigative division. “Prior to these warrants being served, Cloud 9 Wellness was warned repeatedly by the El Cajon City Attorney’s office to cease and desist its sales of marijuana,” he adds.

MT. HELIX HOME ROBBED BY BURGLAR WHO CRAWLED THROUGH PET DOOR

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

March 21, 2018 (La Mesa) – The owner of a Mt. Helix home on Fuerte Drive in La Mesa was burglarized Wednesday afternoon by a thief who entered through a doggie door.

David Ward told ECM news partner 10 News that his dog recently passed away, but before he had a chance to block off access, a thief crawled through and bypassed the home’s security alarm.

JUDGE APPROVES PLACING SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR IN BOULEVARD

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2018 (Boulevard) – On Friday, Judge David Gill approved placement of Michael Joseph Martinez at 2135 McCain Valley Road in Boulevard, a small town in San Diego's East County, starting in late April. Martinez has been in  state mental hospital since 2009 but was approved last year for release. He was committed as a sexually violent predator and has been diagnosed with a pedophilia and personality disorder.

COLLEGE AREA ROBBER POSED AS TICKET SELLER

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2018 (San Diego) – San Diego State University campus police have issued an alert following a robbery that occurred yesterday at 11:05 a.m. in the east alley of 5100 College Avenue.  The suspect offered to sell basketball tickets to the victim, but instead reportedly stole the victim’s money.

VIDEO SHOWS THIEVES STEALING $200,000 IN JEWELRY: EL CAJON STORE OWNER UNINSURED FOR LOSS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Screenshot from surveillance video, courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

March 16, 2018 (El Cajon) – The owner of Forever Fine Jewelry has suffered a devastating loss after thieves stole $200,000 worth of gold and silver jewelry. A group of nine people, including five men and women with babies, distracted the owner while a woman dressed in black, shown on surveillance  video, crawled on the floor to snatch jewelry from display cases and a safe in a back room, 10 News reports.

The owner, an Iraqi immigrant who came here a decade ago,borrowed money from family to start the business and had no insurance for the losses, NBC 7 reports.

EL CAJON POLICE OFFICER WINS COUNTYWIDE AWARD

 

By Miriam Raftery; photos by Monica Zech

Photo: El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis, left, and Officer Jordan Walker, right

March 15, 2018 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police Officer Jordan Walker was named Top Vehicle Theft Recovery Officer of the Year countywide by the Auto Theft Advisory Committee out of 33 officers honored yesterday in Balboa Park.

HOMELESS ARRESTED FOR CAMPING AT RAMONA CREEK

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 14, 2018 (Ramona) -- Nine homeless people were arrested last week and charged with trespassing for camping along the Santa Maria Creek in the Ramona area.

According to the Ramona Sentinel, those arrested were warned during prior sweeps and a cleanup of the area that they would have to relocate, but did not do so.

EL CAJON POLICE RELEASE IDENTITY AND DETAILS ON FATAL SHOOTING

 

East County News Service

March 14, 2018 (El Cajon) – The El Cajon Police Department has identified Joseph Mercurio, 31, as the vehicular burglary suspect shot and killed on March 11th.  Investigators have since learned from their investigation that “Mercurio was driving a stolen vehicle and had been involved in at least two vehicle burglaries the night of this incident,” Sgt. Forster said. 

EL CAJON POLICE PLAN DUI PATROLS ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY

 

East County News Service

March 14, 2018 (El Cajon) — St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most popular holidays in the United States. With a plethora of Irish immigrants and many, many more St. Paddy’s Day well-wishers, the holiday is heavily celebrated by most Americans with friendly pinches, bangers n’ mash, and green beer galore. Sadly, all this merry-making can lead to dangerous driving conditions as party-goers head home. 

WANTED: SUSPECTS RESPONSIBLE FOR CREDIT CARD AND IDENTITY THEFT

 

Source:  San Diego Sheriff's Department

March 13, 2018 (Santee) - San Diego County Crime Stoppers and investigators from the Santee Sheriff’s Station are asking for the public's help to locate two unknown suspects wanted in connection with using a stolen credit card and identity theft.   

FIVE ARRESTED ON ALCOHOL VIOLATIONS IN EL CAJON “SHOULDER TAP” STING OPERATION

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 12, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Agents from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and the El Cajon Police Department arrested five suspects in El Cajon on March 10th for ABC violations, including three who furnished alcoholic beverages to minors. 

EL CAJON HOMEOWNER SHOOTS, KILLS SUSPECT FOUND BREAKING INTO VEHICLE

 

East County News Service

March 11, 2018 (El Cajon) — Awakened by his dogs barking, a homeowner in the 1100 block of Mona Place near West Chase Avenue looked outside around 1:15 a.m. and reportedly saw a man breaking into his vehicle parked in front of the house. 

POSSIBLE HEPATITIS EXPOSURE AT DETENTION FACILITIES IN SANTEE AND VISTA

 

By Tom Christensen, County of San Diego Communications

March 8, 2018 (San Diego) -- A woman with a probable case of hepatitis A may have exposed inmates at the Vista Detention Facility and Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee, the County Health and Human Services Agency reported today.

EAST COUNTY MAN DIES OF STAB WOUNDS AFTER ASSAULT

 

Update March 8, 2018:  The suspect has been identified as Dylan Poston, 26.  He is being held without bail, charged with murder.  The victim has been identified as Anderson Lopes, 24, an active-duty member of the U.S. Navy.

By Miriam Raftery

March 7, 2018 (El Cajon) – A man assaulted in his apartment at 13806 Pinkard Way in unincorporated El Cajon has died of his injuries.  His wife called 911 on Tuesday night shortly after 10:30 p.m. to report her husband was injured and not breathing after an assault.

FAMILIES CALL FOR JUSTICE IN POLICE SHOOTING CASES ACROSS CALIFORNIA

 

By Maridian Broadus

Photo: Shane Harris and Rev. Al Sharpton with victim’s families at press conference

March 8, 2018 (San Diego) – National Action Network founder and President Reverend Al Sharpton visited San Diego on February 21st.  Sharpton, along with NAN’s local chapter president, Shane Harris, held a news conference at NAN San Diego’s House of Justice Headquarters in southeast San Diego.  The civil rights icon publicly voiced his support of victim family members who have lost loved ones to police shootings across the state of California.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY SUMMER STEPHAN OFFERS REASSURANCE AFTER RECENT SCHOOL THREATS AND URGES “COMMON BYSTANDER INTERVENTION”

 

By Eric Bartl

March 5, 2018 (San Diego) - San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan told East County Magazine that San Diego County has seen a surge in threats from students against schools since the February 14 school shooting in Parkland, FL. She said there is good news and bad news.

LA MESA POLICE FIRE SHOTS AT DOG

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 5, 2018 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police officers responding to a call reporting a domestic dispute on Grape Street this morning had a dog charge at them and fired shots, but did not strike the animal.

La Mesa Patch.com reports that while one officer fired shots, the other officer was able to get the dog into the patrol car, according to Lieutenant Chad Bell.

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