By Karen Billing
Residential burglaries are up in Carmel Valley, according to Officer Tracey Williams of the San Diego Police Department’s Northwestern Division.
At the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board’s Sept. 25 meeting, Williams warned the board that a new daytime burglary series is starting to pop up and for residents to be on alert.
Williams said the suspect is described as a younger white male in a new car. He parks in the neighborhood and then walks up to a home and rings the doorbell. When no one answers, the suspect goes around to the back, smashes a window, enters the home and takes what he wants.
“It is important that people pay attention in the neighborhood. Anyone who stays home during the day, if you hear glass breaking, call us. It could be nothing or it could be your neighbors’ home is being broken into,” Williams said. “We all have to be vigilant.”
Williams said this information was posted on Nextdoor.com, a private social network for neighborhoods. People can sign up by entering their address to connect with their neighborhood — the police department uses the network frequently to share information.
Board member Christian Clews noted that there has also been a rash of burglaries in the parking lot owned by the Clews family at the entrance to the Carmel Valley Restoration and Enhancement Project trail, on Carmel Country Road. Cars are being broken into while their owners are biking, walking or running on the popular trail.
Williams said that the police frequently visit this lot as well as other hot spots such as the Del Mar Highlands Town Center parking lot to show visibility — but as soon as they leave, thieves will take advantage of people who have left expensive items such as purses, laptops and iPhones in plain sight on the front seats of their vehicles. He said last week a woman left an $8,000 purse on the front seat of her car, and it was stolen.
“You’ve got to help yourself and not leave anything visible in your cars,” Williams said. “That’s what we need to stop right there.”
For tips or non-emergencies, call the Northwestern Division’s non-emergency line at 619-531-2000 or 858-484-3154.