By Karen Billing
Two suspects were arrested Friday, Nov. 18, breaking into Del Mar Heights area homes and police are investigating the connection between the recent series of eight similar-style burglaries.
Lt. Andrew Hoffman, of the San Diego Police Department’s Northwestern Division, said they were able to link the suspects to one of the earliest incidents in the series. However, Hoffman said they continue to look at the cases in total to see if the same people are responsible for all of the burglaries or whether they are part of a larger crew committing crimes in the area.
“The good news is we are bringing significant resources to bear on this problem and we’re yielding results,” Hoffman said. “The whole Northwestern Division has had a hand in this thing, from our senior volunteers to detectives — I‘ve been out there myself. Everybody is chomping at the bit to catch these guys.”
In Friday night’s incident, a family came home to their Del Mar Heights-area residence and saw a suspicious suspect — the resident decided to follow the suspect, Hoffman said. The resident ultimately lost the first suspect he spotted but ended up seeing another suspect near a neighbor’s home and called the police.
The police responded and were able to catch both suspects, but weren’t able to link the second suspect with a crime until they uncovered evidence to prove both were involved in the burglaries.
The family realized their home had been burglarized while they were out, with the suspects having stolen electronics, backpacks, jewelry and cash.
Senior volunteers are out canvassing neighborhoods asking about any information that may be helpful in establishing a pattern or potential suspects. Hoffman said people should be assured that the division is focused and engaged on stopping these crimes—but they need “all the help they can get.”
One of the common elements of this crime series is that the residents had left doors unlocked in their homes or alarms not set. It may seem obvious, but people should always lock doors (back doors and interior garage doors have been used to access homes in the burglary series), close windows and set their alarms even though it may seem like an inconvenience.
Additionally, people should always call when they see someone suspicious in their neighborhood. Any small tip could lead to a suspect being caught or a crime prevented.
Call the Northwestern Division at (858) 523-7000 or San Diego County Crimestoppers at (888) 580-8477.