November 4, 2020 (San Diego) - A new San Diego County Sheriff's Department service is now available to keep you informed.
Call or text "Hello" to (858) 866-HELO (4356) to receive helicopter messages straight to your phone.
Sheriff's ASTREA (helicopter) uses a loudspeaker when searching for a missing person or suspect. Announcements are also made during critical incidents such as a SWAT standoff, disasters, crowd management events or to give people a shelter in place notification.
This is not an automated or a push notification service. You still need to call or text "Hello" to (858) 866-HELO each time you hear Sheriff's ASTREA making announcements over your area.
Aviation Association recognizes deputies for saving skier's life
East County News Service
July 24, 2019 (Pine Valley) -- They help keep San Diego County safe from high above the ground. Today, two deputies with the Sheriff's ASTREA (Aerial Support To Regional Enforcement Agencies) helicopter unit have been honored by the Airborne Public Safety Association (APSA) for the demanding technical rescue of a cross country skier near Pine Valley earlier this year.
April 27, 2017 (Santa Ysabel) – Patrick Clay, a parolee with a felony warrant, was taken into custody at 7:20 this evening after a pursuit that included a helicopter, patrol vehicle, deputies on foot and a Sheriff’s canine that ultimately subdued the subject.
January 29, 2016 (San Diego) -- With an unusually intense winter weather season predicted, San Diego County Fire and CAL FIRE have doubled the ranks of swiftwater rescue-trained firefighters this year. CAL FIRE team members and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department fire-rescue helicopter unit are also working together in case they have to pluck someone out of the water from above.
February 28, 2014 (San Diego) -- A new Sheriff’s Department helicopter could serve double duty, helping both law enforcement and firefighters. The Bell 407 GX helicopter the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department wants to add to its aerial fleet could also support local fire departments with fire suppression efforts.
February 6, 2014 (Alpine)—A stolen car being pursued by Sheriff’s deputies crashed into another vehicle in Alpine on February 3.
The incident began at 7:53 p.m., when a deputy from the Sheriff's Alpine Substation observed an unoccupied stolen vehicle in the Viejas Casino parking lot. He and his partners monitored the vehicle and observed two men get into the car and proceed out of the parking lot.
October 24, 2012 (La Mesa)—A suspect wielding what witnesses described as a “submachine gun”, attempted to hold up the Well Deck Liquor Company at 3773 Avocado Blvd. in the unincorporated area of San Diego County near La Mesa on October 20 around 11:07 a.m. The suspect carried an orange backpack and as described as possibly Hispanic with blood shot eyes. He was dressed all in black including a cloth over his face.
March 22, 2012 (La Mesa) – Three young suspects are under arrest for burglarizing a residence in the 7600 block of Seattle Drive in La Mesa.
Tuesday morning at 10:04 p.m., La Mesa Police received a call from a citizen who provided detailed descriptions of suspects who were breaking into the residence. The witness provided police with updates as officers responded to the scene.
February 24, 2012 (El Cajon)-- The Pacific Western Bank at 368 Broadway was robbed on February 21at 12:49 p.m. The FBI and local law enforcement believe he is the “Insistent Bandit” believed responsible for five bank robberies dating back to January 17, 2012. Public help is sought to identity the suspect.
The robber approached a teller and stated, “This is a robbery.” He then lifted his shirt and showed the teller a handgun tucked under his waistband. The teller placed an unspecified amount of cash inside of the plastic grocery bag that he handed to her.
February 13, 2012 (La Mesa) -- A purse-snatching prompted at Grossmont Center prompted an intensive but unsuccessful search for a suspect on Saturday night, February 11. The suspect approached a 71-year-old woman from behind as she was walking with her husband through the parking lot near BJ’s Restaurant shortly before 8 p.m., then grabbed her purse from her shoulder and ran off toward Grossmont Hospital.
October 4, 2011 (Poway) – Poway resident Sean Webber, 30, has been arrested after leading authorities on a 38-minute, 23-mile chase. He is accused of stealing a Senior Volunteer Patrol (SVP) car while two San Diego Sheriff’s volunteers were helping with traffic control for the Tour of Parkway bicycle event.
July 2, 2011 (El Cajon) – Pilots of the Sheriff’s ASTREA helicopter followed a trail of smoke and directed El Cajon Police officers to a teen, 17, who is suspected of firing a flare gun at the helicopter. The flare, believed to have been shot from the vicinity of Main Street and Sunshine Avenue, exploded about 30 feet from the helicopter.
“Fortuntely the flare did not impact the helicopter, but could have caused a fire on the aircraft or entered the cockpit and incapacitated the pilot,” said Lt. J.D. Arvan.
June 15, 2011 (Ramona) – A female hiker was air lifted out of the Cedar Creek Falls area June 12 around 4 p.m. “She jumped from a rock and impacted the water, injuring her back,”said Deputy Tim Johnson with the Sheriff’s ASTREA helicopter unit.
The number of visitors to the waterfall has soared since the U.S. Forest Service completed a new trail earlier this month. “All these improvements just make it that much more attractive out there,” said Johnson, who offered this safety advice for visitors to this local Shangri-La. “Don’t jump off rocks that are elevated above the water, not knowing what’s under there. It’s common sense.”
April 24, 2011 (Julian) – San Diego Sheriff’s ASTREA 12 helicopter conducted a hoist rescue late this afternoon for a victim who fell 30 feet, suffered injuries and became trapped between rocks at the base of Mildred Falls near Julian.
County honors deputies who saved couple’s lives during Monte Fire;
Climbers offer safety tips for others
By Miriam Raftery
August 26, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Sheriff’s deputies Gary Kneeshaw and Scott Blight saved two rock climbers trapped on the face of El Capitan mountain during the Monte Fire in Lakeside on Saturday. Today, the deputies were honored with a commendation from the County Board of Supervisors for their heroic actions in a daring ASTREA helicopter rescue. In a press conference at Gillespie Field in El Cajon today, Lieutenant Richardson praised the deputies for actions “above and beyond the call of duty” which “without a doubt, saved the lives” of rock climbers André Doria and Meg Rippy.
Doria and Rippy, 27-year-old graduate students at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, revealed details of their ordeal to East County Magazine.