Del Mar couple mugged on Stratford Lane

A couple was mugged behind their home Tuesday night at around 8:50 p.m. as they were walking down Stratford Lane between 11th and 12th streets in Del Mar.

Jean LaFlamme, 66, and her husband Jerry, 70, were approaching their home in the 1200 block of Stratford Court from the back when they were attacked by two men wearing black clothing and black knitted caps.

“Two guys just came out of nowhere and grabbed my purse,” Jean said. “They knocked us down on the cement and took off.” She said she doesn’t remember her attackers saying anything.

She suffered a black eye and said the left side of her face was scraped and bruised from falling on the cement. Jerry suffered cuts and bruises from the fall. Their injuries did not require medical attention.

“It doesn’t happen very often,” said Sgt. Jack Reynolds of the San Diego County Sheriff Department’s Encinitas substation. He said he hadn’t heard of any similar incidents happening in the area and hopes that he won’t, but still advised residents to be on guard.

“What I can suggest is always to keep an eye out for unusual or suspicious people, even when you’re walking in your own neighborhood,” Reynolds said. “Watch your back and turn around often when you’re out walking at night.”

Jean LaFlamme said that because of how smoothly the attack was carried out, she wonders if the men had been staking out the couple for a period before making their move.

“We walk that way regularly when we get home,” she said.

“Because we don’t get a lot of crime (in Del Mar), there is this sense of security,” Reynolds said. “I always tell people to lock their windows and doors …”

The LaFlammes have lived in Del Mar for 28 years and have never heard of anything like this happening in the city.

The muggers made off with about $70 in cash, a cell phone, car keys and credit cards, which the LaFlammes immediately canceled.

The couple did not get a good look at their attackers’ faces, but Jean said she thinks they were Hispanic or Asian.

The responding deputies could only find one witness who heard Jean scream, but did not see anything suspicious.

“Right now times are hard for people, and the economy is bad, so there’s going to be people out there looking for opportunities,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said anyone who sees suspicious activity should immediately call 9-1-1.

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