Crime Beat

MAN FOUND DEAD IN VALLEY CENTER DIED OF GUNSHOT WOUNDS

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 28, 2019 (Valley Center) – Yesterday, Sheriff’s deputies responded to conduct a welfare check on a resident in Valley Center found a man’s body inside with trauma to his upper body.  The Medical Examiner has concluded an autopsy and determined that the victim, Andrew Billeci, died of gunshot wounds inflicted in a homicide.

LEMON GROVE HOME INVASION SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR MURDER

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 28, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – A home invasion robbery that went awry in February led to a struggle between the home’s occupants and two suspects. The homeowner’s son was shot and wounded, resulting in the homeowner firing back, killing a teenage suspect. 

CHP SEEKS WITNESSES TO SHOOTING ON I-8 IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 27, 2019 (La Mesa) – California Highway Patrol is seeking the identity of a shooter who opened fire from a white or silver SUV on eastbound Interstate 8 near State Route 125 at 9:30 last night.  The gunshots  injured a man and woman in a Nissan Sentra car.

PUBLIC INVITED TO FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND ECONOMIC CRIMES FORUM IN EAST COUNTY SEPT. 10

Seven Chambers of Commerce coming together to host the event

Source:  San Diego District Attorney

August 26, 2019 (El Cajon) - Members of the public are welcome to attend the first-ever Economic Crimes Forum in East County hosted by seven chambers of commerce to learn how scams and cyber-crimes impact businesses and the community. At the event, experts from the District Attorney’s Office will teach attendees how to protect themselves and their businesses from becoming victims of fraud and other economic-related crimes.

LA MESA PARENTS CHARGED WITH MURDER OF BABY BOY

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

August 26, 2019 (La Mesa)   Parents in La Mesa are charged with murdering their infant son, as well as assault and child abuse. Joel Dwayne Rodriguez-Brownell and Jalena Robin Rodriguez were arrested August 18th after their 8-month-old son, also named Joel, suffered life-threatening injuries. Murder charges were added after the child died a day later.

DUI CHECKPOINT IN LA MESA TONIGHT, EXTRA PATROLS THROUGH LABOR DAY

East County News Service

August 24, 2019 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police Department’s traffic unit will conduct a DUI checkpoint tonight in the 4900 block of Spring Street from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.  LMPD will also have extra officer on the road now through Sept. 2 over Labor Day weekend looking for drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The Department is partnering with law enforcement agencies nationwide in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign over Labor Day weekend.

Labor Day Weekend remains one of the deadliest times of year for alcohol-involved crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 376 deadly crashes nationwide during the 2017 Labor Day holiday period (Sept. 1 to Sept. 5). Among those crashes, more than one-third (36%) involved a drunk driver. Last year, two people were killed, and 31 others injured in California on Labor Day alone.

THREE ILLEGAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES SHUT DOWN IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service

August 22, 2019 (Spring Valley) – As a direct result of numerous complaints from concerned citizens, three illegal marijuana dispensaries in Spring Valley and Casa de Oro were searched and shut down by law enforcement and one arrest was made.

WEEDMAPS GOES LEGIT: SMOKES OUT ILLEGAL DISPENSARY LISTINGS

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 22, 2019 (Sacramento) – Weedmaps will no longer list illegal marijuana dispensaries or other illicit enterprises in its online director of cannabis businesses.

 

The change reflects new state licensing requirements for advertising as California’s legal cannabis industry flourishes.

GOVERNOR SIGNS SAN DIEGO ASSEMBLYWOMAN'S LANDMARK POLICE USE-OF-FORCE LAW

By Dan Morain and Lauren Rosenhaall | CalMatters

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Assemblywoman Shirley Weber stands to the left of Gov. Gavin Newsom at signing ceremony for her police use-of-force legislation. Photo by Dan Morain for CalMatters

August 21, 2019 (San Diego) - California will soon have a tougher new legal standard for the use of deadly force by police, under legislation Gov. Gavin Newsom signed today that was inspired by last year’s fatal shooting of a young, unarmed man in Sacramento.

JEWELRY STORE HEIST IN ALPINE

East County News Service
 
August 20, 2019 (Alpine) – Daniels Jewelers in the Viejas Outlets center in Alpine was robbed shortly after 11:30 this morning by three men in their 20s who fled in a dark sedan.  
 
Alpine deputies recovered the vehicle inn the 4300 block of West Willows Road within 20 minutes of the robbery but have not located the suspects.

POWAY MAN KILLED BY GUN SHOT FROM NEIGHBOR’S APARTMENT

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

 

August 17, 2019 (Poway) -- A suspect is in custody for the murder of a Poway man.

 

The Sheriff’s department received a call from Pomerado Hospital at 2:50 a.m. reporting a man with a gunshot wound in his abdomen.  The victim, Michael Walker, died at the hospital a short time after his wife drove him there, ECM news partner 10 News reports.

BORDER PATROL OFFICERS SEIZE NEARLY FOUR TONS OF MARIJUANA IN SHIPMENT OF JALAPEÑO PEPPERS AT OTAY MESA

East County News Service

Photo:  Customs and Border Patrol officers pulled hundreds of packages of marijuana from boxes of jalapeño peppers.

August 16, 2019 (San Diego) – U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers assigned to the Otay Mesa cargo facility seized almost four tons of marijuana yesterday co-mingled in a shipment of jalapeño peppers, valued at $2.3 million

 

FBI AND SDPD SEEKING TIPS ON BANK ROBBER IN VONS ON EL CAJON BLVD.

East County News Service

August 15, 2019 (San Diego) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) are seeking the public’s assistance to identify the individual responsible for a bank robbery. This morning around 10:30 a.m., a man entered the US Bank branch inside a Vons store at 6155 El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego.    

ALPINE SHERIFF’S INVESTIGATION LEADS TO RECOVERY OF RUNAWAY TEEN AND ARREST IN SUSPECTED TRAFFICKING CASE

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 15, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A runaway 15-year-old girl from San Diego has been rescued and was returned home yesterday as the result of an investigation by Alpine Sheriff’s deputies and detectives, along with Juvenile Services and the San Diego County Human Trafficking Task Force.

JAIL/DETENTION FACILITY SUICIDES OR ATTEMPTS DRAW SCRUTINY

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

August 15, 2019 (San Diego) - Prison and jail suicides are not just about inmates hanging themselves with bedsheets.

#Warning: graphic descriptions, but no graphic images in link and/or story.

“They jump off of their bunkbeds, they hit their heads on the ground, you can see all the blood,” said a health care professional who asked that their name be withheld.

DUI DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER STRIKING CHP OFFICER AND FLEEING SCENE

East County News Service
 
August 14, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – A California Highway Patrol officer hit by a suspected drunk driver last night near Lemon Grove suffered moderate injuries but expected to make a full recovery, says Officer Travis Garrow with the CHP.

PURSUIT IN SPRING VALLEY LEADS TO CRASHES; THREE INNOCENT CITIZENS INJURED

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 13, 2019 (Spring Valley) – A fleeing suspect and a deputy each collided with uninvolved vehicles during a pursuit this afternoon in Spring Valley. 
 
U.S. Marshall requested help from Sheriff’s deputies at 2:25 p.m. to apprehend David Hernandez, 37, a suspect wanted for a parole violation. The San Diego man was spotted in a stolen vehicle at 661 Sweetwater Road in Spring Valley and fled when deputies arrived, leading to a brief pursuit.   

LA MESA POLICE DEPARTMENT AND HEARTLAND FIRE AND RESCUE'S EIGHTH ANNUAL SAFETY FAIR AUGUST 10

Source:  City of La Mesa

August 8, 2019 (La Mesa) - Continuing with the National Night Out celebration, the La Mesa Police Department and Heartland Fire and Rescue will be hosting the 8 th Annual Safety Fair on Saturday, August 10th, 2019. The event will run from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. in the La Mesa Police Department parking lot.

PROTESTORS IN CA, US STAND AGAINST WHITE SUPREMACY

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

August 7, 2019 (Pasadena) - Thousands of Californians joined protests across the state to take a stand against white supremacy after the mass shooting in El Paso. 

Last weekend, a gunman killed 22 people at a Walmart store in that border city, shortly after posting a racist, anti-Latino essay online. 

BOY SCOUTS ACCUSED OF HIDING ABUSE INCLUDING LOCAL CASES: LAWYERS URGE VICTIMS TO SPEAK OUT, PROTECT THEIR LEGAL RIGHTS

By Miriam Raftery

August 7, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A  new lawsuit alleges that Boy Scouts of America (BSA) covered up names of some sexual abusers, the Washington Post reports. In a press conference this week, attorneys from Abused In Scouting say that researchers have found 350 names of suspected pedophiles were left of a blacklist with some 5,000 names previously made public. Both lists cite alleged abuse cases in our region including San Diego, El Cajon, La Mesa, Mount Laguna, Palomar Mountain and Poway.

“We as a group can start to change things and make sure that the next generation of kids does not have to suffer the way they did,” says San Diego attorney Van Arsdale  with AVA Law, a local firm that is one of three law firms nationally working with Abused in Scouting. 

DRIVER SOUGHT IN LAKESIDE CRASH THAT LEFT MOTORCYCLIST BRAIN DEAD—JUST BEFORE HIS WEDDING DAY

 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News
 
August 7, 2019 (Lakeside) -- Steven Johnson was set to be married this Saturday, beginning a new life with his fiancée, Karlene Moen. Instead, his grieving family and friends will be holding a celebration of life in his memory. Johnson, left brain-dead after a motorcycle crash, is set to be removed from life support. 
 
Now his loved ones are asking for public help to find the woman driving a gray compact car, who fled the scene of the accident. The crash occurred last Friday morning around 5:30 a.m. on southbound Highway 67 near Willows Road in Lakeside, 10 News reports.

MASS SHOOTINGS IN GILROY, EL PASO AND DAYTON HEIGHTEN CALLS FOR ACTION TO PROTECT PUBLIC SAFETY

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Mourners in El Paso, Texas; victims of mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and Gilroy, California; White House flag at half mast
 
August 5, 2019 (San Diego) – After posting a violent anti-immigrant manifesto on the same white nationalist hate site used by the Poway synagogue shooter, a heavily armed gunman wearing body armor opened fire at an El Paso Wal-Mart on Saturday with a military-style assault weapon. He slaughtered 20 people and injured 26 more before police arrested him.  

BORDER PATROL AGENTS FIND OVER $270,000 WORTH OF METHAMPHETAMINES IN VEHICLE AT CHECKPOINT

East County News Service

Photo:  Agents pulled 114 packages of meth that was hidden inside a small car.

August 2, 2019 (Campo) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a man Thursday night who had 114 packages of methamphetamine hidden inside his vehicle.

PALOMAR STATE PARKS ENTRY STATION BURGLARIZED, FIREARMS AND RADIOS STOLEN

East County News Service

August 2, 2019 (Palomar Mountain) – A ranger arriving for her morning shift on July 31st at the Palomar State Parks entry station/information kiosk discovered the site had been burglarized overnight, according to the California Highway Patrol.

NIGHT OUT TO FIGHT CRIME: AUGUST 6 AT THESE SHERIFF STATIONS

East County News Service

August 1, 2019 (San Diego) -- National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer. Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August—including a dozen locations in San Diego County.

You can come meet deputies who patrol your neighborhoods, learn about services the Sheriff’s department provides, and get crime prevention safety tips. You can also explore Sheriff’s programs such as senior volunteers, home vacation checks, the You Are Not Alone program for homebound seniors and the disabled, and Jr. Explorers. Visitors may also meet McGruff “The Crime Dog” and view a Sheriff’s K-9 demo. The events also offer free food and drinks, giveaways and a bicycle raffle at some locations.

Click on one of the communities below for an event flyer at each of these Sheriff's stations and substations including several  East County locations:

JURY RULES OFFICER SHOOTING OF ALFRED OLANGO IN EL CAJON WAS JUSTIFIED

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2019 (El Cajon) – A jury in a civil trial has ruled that an El Cajon Police officer was justified in shooting and killing Alfred Olango on Sept. 27, 2016.  Olango’s sister ,Lucy,  had called 911 to ask for help for her brother, who was reportedly suffering a mental health crisis and walking into traffic.

While another officer pointed a taser at Olango, Officer Richard Gonsalves asked Olango to remove his hands from his pocket,. Olango pulled out a silver and black vape smoking device that resembled a gun and pointed it at the officer, assuming a shooter’s stance at point blank range.

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