Crime Beat

COMMERCIAL BURGLARY SUSPECTS ARRESTED, ALSO CHARGED WITH DRUG CRIMES

 
 
By Miriam Raftery 
 
January 31, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) — Two suspects believed responsible for over 30 commercial burglaries countywide with losses totaling over $130,000 have been arrested in Lakeside and Spring Valley.
 
Detectives and crime suppression team deputies from Alpine, Rancho San Diego, Lakeside and Santee participated in serving search warrants that led to recovery of property stolen from a business in Rancho San Diego. The search also found a clandestine marijuana growing operation and a butane honey oil extraction laboratory. Detectives from the San Diego Regional Narcotics Task Force responded, along with HAZMAT personnel and other law enforcement personnel.

CAMPO SCHOOL BUS ASSAILANT SENTENCED TO DRUG REHAB AND COUNSELING

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
January 30, 2018 (Campo) – A knife-wielding man who punched a Campo Elementary School bus driver in the face on May 25, 2018 has been sentenced to a year in jail, with part of his sentence slated to be served in a drug rehabilitation facility.
 

SDPD OFFICER ARRESTED IN SANTEE ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ASSAULT CHARGES

 
 
East County News Service
 
January 30, 2019 (Santee) – San Diego Police Officer Timothy Allan Romberger was arrested Wednesday in Santee. He is charged with felony domestic violence and assaulting his girlfriend by putting a semi-automatic gun to her head and asked her why he should let her live. 

ILLEGAL POT SHOP SHUT DOWN IN SPRING VALLEY

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
January 23, 2019 (Spring Valley) — Cookiez Collective, a marijuana dispensary operating illegally at 2913 Sweetwater Road in Spring Valley, was shut down today by county authorities.
 
Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s detectives and crime suppression team members assisted County Code Compliance in serving an abatement warrant. According to Sergeant Matt Cook II, “the abatement warrant was the direct result of numerous complaints from concerned citizens” as well as violating of the county’s zoning ordinance. 

D.A. ANNOUNCES TRAFFICKING EDUCATION PROGRAMS FOR ALL LOCAL SCHOOLS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2019 (San Diego) — San Diego ranks among the 13 worst regions in the nation for human trafficking, according to the FBI.  The underground sex economy locally is worth an estimated $810 million a year. To combat this crisis and help protect vulnerable young people, District Attorney Summer Stephan has announced three new programs to bring human trafficking education, prevention and awareness training to kids and teens in all public schools countywide.

TIPSTER ALERTS DEPUTIES DURING ROBBERY AT VERIZON STORE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 12, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) – Sheriff’s deputies surrounded a Verizon store in Rancho San Diego last night, after a citizen in the parking lot saw two men wearing masks enter the store. The witness called 911 at 6:22 p.m. The tip resulted in arrested of two suspected armed robbers, both teens, as they ran out of the store on Jamacha Rd. east of Campo Rd.  After the teens entered the store, “one of them pointed a firearm at the four employees in the store,” says Sgt. Michael Hettinger. “They demanded the employees give them the cash from the register and forced them at gunpoint into the back storeroom. The suspects then forced the employees to give them the cash from their wallets and open the safe which contained a large stock of phones.

MAN WANTED FOR TRYING TO LURE BOY, 12, INTO PICKUP TRUCK IN SANTEE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2019 (Santee) — The Sheriff’s department seeks public help to find a white male in a dirty, newer model white Ford F-150 pickup truck lifted rims. The driver reportedly  tried to trick a 12-year-old boy into accepting a ride. The suspect is described as in his 40s with short blond hair, stubble on his face, wearing a brown Hurley baseball cap and short-sleeved plaid shirt in white and blue.

DEPUTIES SHOOT, KILL ARMED MAN IN LEMON GROVE TACO SHOP

 

Update January 9, 2019 -- The deceased suspect has been identified as Adolfo Gonzalez, 28, of San Diego.

The deputies involved in this shooting are Carlos Cenizo, Sean Daly and Casey Dow. All are assigned to the Lemon Grove Sheriff's Substation. Cenizo has been a deputy since 2014; Daly and Dow have been deputies since 2015.

East County News Service

January 6, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Three Sheriff’s deputies opened fire on an armed man  inside the Del Taco restaurant at 7060 Broadway in Lemon Grove last night.  

According to Lieutenant Rich Williams with the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit, a 9-1-1 caller shortly after 8:30 p.m. reported that the suspect had pointed a handgun at the caller and his family in the Del Taco shop.  Deputies arrived minutes later and when they tried to talk to the suspect, The man produced a handgun and as a result, a deputy-involved shooting occurred,” Lt. Williams said. “It appears all three of the deputies who contacted the armed suspect fired their handguns in response to the threat.”

JUDGE HALTS PLAN TO RELEASE “BOLDER THAN MOST RAPIST” INTO JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS, FOR NOW

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 5, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) — Disturbing results of a new mental health evaluation have halted the state’s plan to release Alvin Quarles into the Jacumba Hot Springs community in San Diego’s East County.

EL CAJON POLICE PLAN DUI ENFORCEMENT OVER NEW YEAR’S WEEKEND

 

Source: El Cajon Police

December 29, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The Christmas and New Year’s holidays are ways to spend time with family and friends ringing in another year, but also a time when people can make poor choices that put themselves and others at risk on the road.

MAN WHO DIED IN SHERIFF’S PATROL CAR IN SANTEE IS IDENTIFIED AS WARREN MORRIS

 

East County News Service

December 29, 2018 (Santee) – Warren Morris, 51, has been identified by the County Medical Examiner’s office as the man found by Sheriff’s deputies lying on a sidewalk near Walmart in Santee on the afternoon of December 23rd. 

STATE DROPS PLANS FOR PAROLE OFFICE IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

December 20, 2018 (La Mesa) – Nearly 1,800 residents who signed a petition opposing a state parole office in La Mesa got an early Christmas present.

Today, City Manager Yvonne Garrett received a message from Jerry Powers, director of the state’s division of adult parole operations, advising that the agency has determined that “due to functional and logistical issues this site is unworkable for our needs at this time.  We will continue to review other locations in the eastern San Diego County area in our efforts to provide services more directly to the parolee population and the citizens of East County.”

The state had proposed the facility at 9400 Grossmont Summit Drive, next to homes on Mt. Helix and the Brigantine Restaurant and within a quarter mile of Grossmont High School. The closest trolley stop would have been shared by high school and middle school students, with violent parolees and sex offenders walking directly past two schools.

SUSPECTED DUI DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER HITTING POWER POLE IN LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery

December 20, 2018 (Lemon Grove)—The driver of a green Kia utility vehicle has been arrested for suspected driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs after striking a power pole at 6:47 a.m. at 1750 Madera Street near Massachusetts Avenue in Lemon Grove.

Broken wires resulted in loss of power at San Altos Elementary School. The outage is expected to last until this afternoon.The school has planned a minimum day.

MAN ARRESTED FOR MURDER OF CO-RESIDENT AT EL CAJON INDEPENDENT LIVING FACILITY



By Miriam Raftery

December 20, 2018 (El Cajon) – Brad Payton, 24, of El Cajon has been arrested and charged with the murder of a fellow resident at an independent living center located in the 1200 block of Naranca Avenue.

”Based upon the investigation at this time, it is believed the suspect and victim knew each other and lived in separate rooms within the facility,” says Lieutenant Walt Miller. “Witnesses told investigators the two were arguing for unknown reasons just prior to the suspect attacking the victim with a blunt object.”

DRIVE-BY SHOOTING IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service

December 19, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A man was shot in the head last night around 10:30 p.m. but fortunately is expected to survive.  Shots were fired from a white four-door vehicle near Jamacha Blvd. and Grand Avenue in the La Presa area of Spring Valley.

Fortunately, the victim is expected to survive, Patch.com reports, citing Lt. Karla Menzies.

ARCO CLERK ALLEGEDLY THREATENS CUSTOMERS, ASSAULTS DEPUTY

East County News Service

December 18, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A clerk at the Arco convenience store in the 9000 block of Campo Road assaulted a deputy who responded to a call reporting that the clerk was threatening customers with a knife. The caller reported that the clerk appeared to be under the influence of a drug and chased a customer with a knife.

NATIONWIDE BOMB HOAXES REACH EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

December 14, 2018 (San Diego) – A bomb hoax targeted numerous of businesses, schools, newspapers, government facilities and individuals nationwide yesterday including at least a dozen locations in San Diego County.  The targets locally ranged from a trucking business in Lakeside to an attorney’s office in Kensington.

Attorney Julie Hamilton told ECM she received an email that included a demand for $20,000 in bitcoins or a hidden bomb would be exploded, similar to a threat reported across the nation.  “The email was very similar to other emails shown by other businesses. I didn't have to tell the investigator much, by the time they got to me they were well aware of the emails going to multiple businesses in the area,” Hamilton said.

RESIDENTS FLOOD LA MESA CITY COUNCIL WITH COMPLAINTS OVER PROPOSED PAROLE FACILITY

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2018 (La Mesa)--  Following the swearing in of newly elected Councilwoman Akilah Weber and reelected Councilman Bill Baber, the La Mesa City Council heard public comments last night from numerous area residents concerned about a state parole office proposed in a new building on Grossmont Summit Drive next to the Brigantine restaurant, other businesses and home.

JACK-IN-THE-BOX ROBBED AT GUNPOINT IN LEMON GROVE; SUSPECT FLED IN CREAM SEDAN

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 6, 2018 (Lemon Grove) — A man jumped over the county of a Jack-in-the-Box at 7979 Broadway Avenue in Lemon Grove shortly after 2 p.m. yesterday, thenpointed a black pistol at customers and employees, demanding cash.

 

The suspect is described ablack, about 6 ft. 2 in heightwith medium to heavy build, wearing a baseball cap, red flannel shirt, grey hooded sweatshirt with hood pulled up, black gloves, white pants, and a white bandana covering his face.

 

PAROLE OFFICE PROPOSED ON MT. HELIX DRAWS COMMUNITY OPPOSITION

By Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2018 (La Mesa) – Residents are raising objections over a proposal by the state to open a parole office at the base of Mt. Helix next to the Brigantine Restaurant in a mostly residential neighborhood near Grossmont High School.

The city of La Mesa received notification in a letter dated November 5th from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Division of Adult Parole Operations about plans to lease a building at 9400 Grossmont Summit Drive for use as a parole office. The facility would have 65 staff members, including 52 parole agents meeting with potentially hundreds of parolees a month who served time in state prisons for serious crimes. The building has only 41 parking spaces, according to the city.

A petition opposing the project has been started online at https://www.change.org/p/mr-steve-lamirand-stop-adult-parole-operations-from-opening-in-mt-helix-la-mesa.  So far, 186 people have signed. An analysis (p. 1, p. 2) created by project opponent Daniel Boethin, a real estate consultant at Trifold Properties claims the site is incompatible with allowed uses under current zoning, is incompatible with surrounding residential and business uses, and would endanger minors due to the close proximity to schools.

SUSPECTED HORSE RAPIST IN BLOSSOM VALLEY: STABLED HORSE FOUND TIED UP

 

 

By Ana Nita

December 4, 2018 (Blossom Valley) -- “When I came down to feed in the morning, I heard this horse, Gretchen, banging on the door and she never does that,” said Marilyn Gramse of El Cajon. She found Gretchen, one of three horses she is boarding at her ranch, tied up inside her stall. “I walked over there and went, oh, my God, she had this rope tied around her right rear leg pulling up and the rope coming around her neck and coming back around by her foot and her tail was up, tied, and attached to one of the bars.” 

THREE DEAD FROM CRASH IN BOULEVARD AFTER BORDER PATROL PURSUIT

By Miriam Raftery

November 30, 2018 (Boulevard) – Three people died and eight others sustained injuries in a crash at 4:30 a.m. yesterday on I-8 near Crestwood, following  pursuit of a white Chevrolet Silverado by U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Agents tried to conduct an enforcement stop near the border in East County, but the driver instead led agents onto I-8 and a high-speed chase ensued. Border Patrol agents deployed a spike strip.  As a result, the driver of the Silverado lost control on I-8 east of Crestwood, went up an embankment and became airborne, then rolled down the embankment back onto the main lanes of I-8 west.  The vehicle came to rest on its left side, blocking one lane of traffic, says Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol.

TEENS RECRUIT THEIR PEERS TO SMUGGLE DRUGS ACROSS THE BORDER

 
 
Drug cartels are using teens to transport millions of dollars’ worth of drugs across the border

Source: San Diego Countywide Media Advocacy Project

Photo by David Larivière on Unsplash

November 25, 2018 (San Diego) - Drug cartels are using teens to smuggle a variety of contraband across the border. But once a teen has been caught at the border smuggling drugs and is on the law enforcement radar, drug cartels use them for another illegal purpose: recruiting.

WOMAN STABBED IN FACE BY BROTHER IN SANTEE

 

 

East County News Service

November 21, 2018 (Santee) — Sheriffs deputies have arrested Joseph Bodenstadt, 50, for allegedly stabbing his sister in the face.  He has been charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, mayhem and delaying a peace officer.

His sister is being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

ROBBERY AT SDSU TRANSIT STATION

 

 

East County News Service

November 19, 2018 (San Diego) – San Diego State University campus police are investigating a robbery that occurred Sunday, November 18th at 5:21 p.m. at the SDSU MTS Transit Station located at 5200 Campanile Drive.  The suspects reportedly pushed the victim and then took a cell phone while exiting the trolley. The victim sustained minor injuries and detectives are following up on several leads. 

EL CAJON POLICE TO CONDUCT PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE SAFETY DETAIL NOV. 16

 

 

Source: El Cajon Police Dept.

November 15, 2018 (El Cajon) — El Cajon Police Department will step up Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations on November 16th, 2018 with focused enforcement on collision causing factors involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

MAN FATALLY SHOT IN ALPINE BY DEPUTIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Daniel Ayala, courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

November 12, 2018 (Alpine) – Sheriff’s deputies were called by an employee in the Summit at Alpine apartment complex who reported a man threatening to kill someone. Deputies arrived eight minutes later and report that the man charged at them with a knife. Multiple deputies fired shots, killing the suspect. 

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