Burglary series strikes Carmel Valley, Pacific Highlands Ranch homes

police car lights
(Matt Gush / stock.adobe.com)

A local home burglary series has started up again after a six-month reprieve.

According to San Diego Police Community Relations Officer John Briggs’ update at the recent Torrey Hills Community Planning Board meeting, since Dec. 1 there have been 19 home burglaries in this new series, many attributed to the same South American theft ring that targeted homes throughout San Diego in 2022, some involving a second organized crew. In this new series, suspects get in through a back door and head to the master bedroom looking for expensive jewelry or safes.

San Diego Police Department Northwestern Division Captain Manny Del Toro said that the burglaries are spread out through Carmel Valley, Pacific Highlands Ranch and Torrey Highlands mostly. The Santa Monica neighborhood was hit once and Santaluz was hit once.

Del Toro said entry is made through a rear sliding glass door mostly between the hours of 5 and 9 p.m. They have also had three outlier cases that have occurred between 1 and 3 p.m. in the afternoon. On three of the cases, police have identified a newer white Chevy Tahoe as the suspect vehicle.

“Targeted homes are generally homes that are adjacent to canyons and trails and this is how we believe they are getting in and out,” Del Toro said.

In many cases, the suspects are undetected due to many homes having cameras on the front of the house and not the rear.

Briggs said at this time it is important for residents to be vigilant—lock doors, activate alarms, ensure surveillance cameras are working and keep an eye out for suspicious activity in the neighborhood.