Recent CV home invasion shakes community

Concern about crime expressed

Nearly 200 concerned residents attended a Feb. 18 community crime forum at Grace Point Church organized in response to a Feb. 10 home invasion in Carmel Valley.

“I am still shaking,” Jodi Block, who lives close to the scene of the crime, said. “I’m so afraid to come and go from my house.”

San Diego City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, who helped organize the meeting, attended as well as numerous San Diego Police Department officials, including Chief William Lansdowne, Assistant Chief Boyd Long and Northwestern Division Captain Kathy Healey.

Officers presented crime prevention tips and allowed the public to ask questions, but some attendees complained about how the incident was handled by police.

Some parents of students at Sage Canyon School, which is 10 houses from where the crime occurred, wanted answers from officers about why the school wasn’t locked down.

Healey said a lockdown was considered but deemed unnecessary because officers responded quickly to the area and while they were not on campus, they established a perimeter around the school. They didn’t want to create a panic, she added.

Some parents said they would have preferred to panic a little and felt the captain should have erred on the side of caution.

“Lock the thing down and we’ll deal with it,” one Sage father said to applause.

Frightening attack

On that Tuesday morning around 10:50 a.m., a man confronted a resident in the garage of her home on Whispering Hills Lane. Using a knife, the suspect demanded the code for her alarm system and thinking on her feet, she gave him the wrong code. The alarm was then set off, causing the suspect to flee.

“She was not injured, she kept her wits about her and tricked him,” Jim Collins, of the robbery division, said. “And her trick worked.”

The suspect was described as a white male, between 28 and 30 years old, 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 6 inches with a medium to thin build.

Several cops were on the scene in five minutes, including Healey. The robbery unit was there within 10 minutes. “The response was excellent,” Healey said.

Neighborhood response

Since the event, neighbors have discussed hiring private security, which Healey said she does not recommend.

“You’re much better off with a Neighborhood Watch,” Healey said. A private security guard can be expensive and is only going to call the police anyway, she explained.

Officer Sells helped organize several Neighborhood Watch groups in Carmel Valley but said there should be more.

“It’s really what you make of it,” he said. One group exchanges e-mails while another in Pacific Highlands Ranch organized a patrol and even made custom T-shirts.

Sells said the better people know their neighbors, the better they can tell when something is not right.

“Talk to your neighbors, find out information,” Sells said. “It can only do good.”

Similar incident

A similar incident occurred Feb. 19 at around 2 p.m. on Longshore Way, off East Ocean Air Drive, although there was no weapon involved.

A woman left her home, leaving the garage door open about a third, according to Sells. Minutes later, the male resident entered the garage to find a suspect inside. He chased the suspect out of the garage but lost him as he ran between nearby homes.

The suspect was described as a dark-skinned male, possibly Asian or Hispanic, 18 to 20 years old, 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 9 inches, between 150 and 160 pounds with brown hair. He was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt with brown lettering or designs on it.

Officers responded to the incident within five minutes, although there was a 12-minute delay in the resident reporting the crime. A police helicopter searched the area, but the suspect was never found, Sells said.

While the recent incidents are disturbing, the officers said that there is no need to panic.

“Carmel Valley is one of the safest communities in the city of San Diego,” Long said.

In the last four months, property crimes have decreased and violent crimes have decreased by 45 percent.

In most cases, the number of people committing a majority of the crimes is small. For example, Long said in the last few months six people have been charged with 40 burglaries in the division.

Quick safety fixes

  • Make a report. If you see something that feels out of place, call the department’s community hotline at 531-2000, or e-mail Community Relations Officer Gaylon Sells,

  1. In the case of an emergency, call 9-1-1.
  2. Start a Neighborhood Watch. If you know your neighbors you will know about suspicious activities and individuals in the neighborhood and be better able to look out for each other.
  3. Invest in a home security system with an alarm.
  4. Video surveillance is an option. Cameras are available at places like Costco for $300. They can help police solve neighborhood crimes.
  5. Avoid becoming a “crime of opportunity.” This is a safe community but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t lock your doors, close your windows or set the alarm.
  6. Do not leave valuables visible in your vehicle.


The Northwestern Division will hold its regular bi-monthly community forum on March 5 at 6:30 at the Carmel Valley Recreation Center.

HOME SECURITY TIPS courtesy of SDPD Northwestern Division

Burglary is mostly a crime of opportunity that capitalizes on the carelessness and neglect of the homeowner or renter. This paper contains tips on preventing home burglaries, vandalism, and other property crimes by controlling access, providing visibility, and maintaining your property. It also contains tips on protecting your home and property when you are away. And if you do become a victim, it includes tips on making sure the police can find your home, and on identifying your property. These tips can significantly enhance the security of your home and property.


The following tips suggest how access to your home, apartment, or condo can be controlled by physical protection, deterrent measures, and various procedures.

Physical Protection

  • Install single cylinder dead-bolt locks on all doors. Bolts should have a minimum throw of 1 inch. Strike plates should have screws that are at least 3 inches long. Doors should be solid hardwood or metal clad. Hinges should be located on the inside or have non-removable pins. Special locks are need on double and Dutch doors.
  • Install locking devices on all sliding glass doors and windows.
  • Install good locks all doors that lead outside through garages or storage areas.
  • Don’t rely on chain locks for security. They’re only good for privacy.
  • Re-key or change all locks when moving into a new home.
  • Install locks on gates, garages, sheds, etc.
  • Go to a locksmith or hardware store for advice on locks.
  • Reinforce the glass in windows on the lock sides of doors so a burglar cannot break them and reach in to open the door.
  • Consider installing security bars on side, rear, or other windows that a burglar might break to enter your home. Bars must comply with Fire Code requirements for inside release to permit an occupant to escape in the event of a fire.
  • Fence in the yard.
  • Install a good side-yard gate and keep it locked at all times. Side and back entries are the most common access points for burglars.
  • Plant bushes with thorns or prickly leaves near windows and along fences.
  • Trim trees so that limbs don’t provide access to roofs, second stories, etc.
  • Call Gaylon Sells, the Northwestern Division Community Relations Officer, at (858) 523-7031 to arrange for a free home security survey.

Deterrent Measures

  • Put Neighborhood Watch, alarm company, and Operation ID stickers on entry doors and windows.
  • Consider having a dog that can scare a stranger away by either barking or looking fierce. Keep an outside dog in a fenced area and have a good lock on the gate.
  • Use fencing, gates, landscaping, pavement treatment, signs, etc. to define clear boundaries between your property and adjoining properties.

Burglar Alarms

  • Alarm systems usually include one or more of the following components: photocell or magnetic contacts on doors and windows, heat or motion detectors in interior spaces, glass break detectors, keypads with a means of checking the status of the system, and audible alarms. All equipment should be Underwriters Laboratory (UL) certified.
  • Multiple sensors are preferred because they reduce false alarms, which are wasteful of police resources and lead to fines and permit revocation.
  • See Secs. 33.3701-33.3723 of the San Diego Municipal Code for burglary alarm business and agent requirements and responsibilities, alarm user permit requirements, etc. Call SDPD Permits and Licensing at (619) 531-2250 about obtaining an alarm permit.
  • Get alarm company references from friends or neighbors. Get at least three estimates in writing. The SDPD does not prefer or recommend companies, brands, or types of security systems.
  • Make sure the alarm company has a City Business Tax Certificate and is licensed by the State of California. You can verify the latter by calling the State of California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services at (916) 322-4000.
  • If your system is monitored, make sure the monitoring station is open 24/7 and has backup power. The company’s customer service department should also be open 24/7.
  • Make sure you understand your service contract, all the points of protection and the equipment to be installed, the initial and monthly payments, and the warranty period.
  • Inform your insurance company. You may qualify for a discount.
  • The system should also have a fail-safe battery backup. Check the batteries periodically and replace them if necessary.


  • Keep all doors and windows locked, even if you are just going out “for a minute.” If a window is left open a few inches for ventilation, pins or dowels should be inserted in the tracks to prevent someone from opening it more.
  • Lock gates, garages, and sheds after each use.
  • Store bicycles, mowers, etc. in a locked garage or shed, or secure them to some stationary point.
  • Don’t leave notes on your door when you are away from home.
  • Don’t leave keys in mailboxes or planters, under doormats, or in other obvious hiding spots. Leave an extra key with a neighbor.
  • Learn to recognize who belongs in your neighborhood, development, or apartment, i.e., residents, workers, guests, etc.
  • Know who’s at your door before opening it. Check photo registration card before dealing with any solicitors, peddlers, interviewers, etc. These persons are required to obtain a card from the SDPD and display it on the front of their clothing. They are allowed to solicit only between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. except by appointment.
  • Be suspicious of persons making unsolicited offers of services.
  • Post a NO SOLICITING sign if you don’t want any solicitor to ring your door bell, knock on your door, or make any other sound to attract your attention.
  • Ask for photo identification before letting in anyone you don’t know. Check out the identification with the company or agency if you are suspicious.
  • Never let a stranger enter your home to use the telephone. Offer to make the call yourself in an emergency.
  • Don’t give your name, phone number, or whereabouts on your answering machine message. Never say you aren’t home. Just ask the caller to leave a message.
  • Don’t leave your home keys on a chain with your vehicle keys when you use valet parking. Also, don’t leave your garage door opener where it is easily accessible. Keep your vehicle registration, proof of insurance, and any other papers with your home address on them where a criminal is not likely to find them.
  • Don’t give maids, babysitters, or others working in your home access to your home keys or alarm codes.
  • Call the police on 911 if you are at home and hear or see something suspicious. Don’t take direct action yourself. An officer will be dispatched to your address even if you cannot speak or hang up.
  • Don’t go in or call out if you return home and suspect someone has broken into your home, e.g., if a window or screen is broken, a door is ajar, or a strange vehicle is parked in the driveway. Go to a neighbor’s home and call the police.
  • Don’t discuss your assets or finances with strangers.
  • Don’t keep large sums of money at home.
  • Keep valuable papers, stocks, bonds, expensive jewelry, coin collections, etc. in a bank safe deposit box. Don’t store them at home unless you have a security closet or a safe that is well hidden and cannot be removed.


  • Leave outside lights on after dark or have outside lights controlled by a motion detector. Make sure there are no dark areas around the house, garage, or yard in which a person could hide. Street lights are generally inadequate for illuminating your property.
  • Check lights regularly and replace burnt out bulbs.
  • Trim bushes to less than 3 feet to eliminate possible hiding places, especially near windows and sidewalks.
  • Trim tree canopies to at least 8 feet to allow visibility into your property.
  • Replace solid walls in front yards with open fencing to eliminate hiding places and make climbing more difficult.
  • Install a wide-angle peephole in your front door so you can look out without being seen yourself.


  • Keep property in good condition and free of trash, litter, weeds, leaves, graffiti, dismantled or inoperative vehicles, and other things that indicate neglect in caring for your property.
  • Replace broken windows or screens.
  • Repair broken fences and gate locks.
  • Use screens, wired glass, or other protection for light fixtures and bulbs.
  • Remove loose rocks and other objects that could be used to vandalize your property.


  • Use timers on lights, radios, TVs, etc. to make them go on and off during the day and night to make your home appear occupied.
  • Stop mail and newspaper delivery, or have neighbor pick up anything left at the home.
  • Keep grass watered and cut. Water and trim other landscaping.
  • Ask the neighbors to watch your home and report any suspicious activities.
  • Leave your itinerary with a neighbor so you can be contacted in an emergency.
  • Disconnect your electric garage door opener and padlock the door, preferably on the inside.
  • Visit the SDPD Northwestern Division at 12592 El Camino Real to request vacation home checks when you’ll be out of town. Call (858) 523-7000 first to make sure there is an officer at the front counter.
  • Set your burglar alarm and notify your alarm company that you will be away. Then if an alarm occurs when you are away the company will not call your home first to verify the alarm; it will notify the police directly. Also provide the alarm company with an up-to-date list of persons to contact about the alarm and the need to secure your home after a burglary.


  • Make sure your street address number is clearly visible from the street and is well lighted at night so the police and other emergency personnel can locate your home easily. Numbers should be at least 4 inches high must be used on individual dwellings and duplexes, and 12 inches high on multiple-unit residential buildings.
  • Make sure your unit number (in a multifamily housing development) is clearly visible from paths in the development. A directory or map that shows paths and unit locations should be placed at the main entrance of the development.
  • Provide the police with an entry code if you live in a gated community.


  • Etch your driver’s license number on any valuables that might be stolen.
  • Photograph valuables that cannot be etched.
  • Keep a detailed, up-to-date record of your valuables. Include type, model, serial number, and fair market value.

TIPS FOR REPORTING CRIMES AND SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES courtesy of San Diego Police Department Neighborhood Policing Resource Team
For reporting purposes, crimes and suspicious activities are considered as either emergencies or non-emergencies. Emergencies, i.e., situations that demand immediate attention, should be reported by calling 911. Non-emergencies and suspicious activities should be reported to the SDPD by calling (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154, specific SDPD investigative units, or to other law enforcement agencies. Information about crimes committed in the City should be reported directly to the SDPD. Or if you don’t want to get involved, you can call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

Persons reporting crimes are routinely asked for their names, addresses, and phone numbers. This is done so that they can be contacted later if necessary during the investigation of the crime. Persons desiring to remain anonymous should request that the officers responding to the call not contact them. Even if contacted later by a detective, the identity of the caller will not be revealed to anyone involved in the crime. In this sense, reports of crimes are treated as confidential and the identity of the caller is protected.

However, if the case goes to trial, the report could be released to the prosecuting agency and, under the rules of discovery, to the defense. It could also be subpoenaed in a civil trial. And you may be called to testify in court.

The ability of the police to locate and arrest criminals often depends on the thoroughness and accuracy of the report you submit. The following information checklist should be used for reporting both emergency and non-emergency crimes:

  • Type of crime
  • Location: exact street address and nearest cross street
  • Time of occurrence
  • Weapons used
  • Number of persons injured and types of injuries
  • Vehicle information: type, license number, color, year, make, model, unusual characteristics (e.g., dents, bumper stickers), number of persons, etc.
  • Suspect information: race, gender, age, height, weight, hair color, hair length and style, eye color, facial hair, clothing type and color, other characteristics (e.g., tattoos, missing teeth, scars, glasses), direction of flight, etc.


Emergencies include crimes that are in progress or about to happen, and ones that have resulted in serious personal injury, property damage, or property loss. They also include situations in which the suspect may still be at the scene and some suspicious activities. By calling 911 you will be linked to the appropriate police as well as fire fighting, medical, and ambulance services. You don’t need money to call 911 from a pay phone.

When reporting an emergency be prepared to give an accurate description of what your emergency is and your location, especially if you are calling from a mobile cellular phone.

The dispatcher has no way of knowing where you are if you are using a cellular phone unless you have an E911-ready phone that provides location information based on a

Global Positioning System (GPS). But even then the response will be faster if you provide your location. (People with cell phones need to check with their vendor to determine if their phones are E911 ready. All new phones have a GPS capability but must be activated to work in that capacity.) Otherwise the dispatcher can determine the street address and apartment or condo unit only if you are calling from a fixed/wire line phone. If you are calling from a gated community or a controlled-access building, be sure to give the dispatcher the gate or door access code. Answer the dispatcher’s questions about the emergency and don’t hang up until you are told. With the address, if the line is disconnected or the caller cannot speak, an officer will still be dispatched.

911 calls on cellular phones have increased dramatically over time and are currently overloading the dispatchers who receive these calls. It is estimated that nearly 60 percent of these calls are either accidental or for non-emergencies. Time spent handling these calls prolongs response times for real emergencies.

Accidental calls can be reduced by disabling the phone’s auto-dial 911 feature. 911 calls other than those involving crimes should be limited to life-threatening situations to which emergency personnel have not yet responded. For example, a parked vehicle not blocking traffic lanes is not considered an emergency; it should be reported on a non-emergency line. Please make note of the non-emergency numbers, which are (619) 531-2000 and (858) 484-3154, and add the appropriate one to your cellular phone directory.

Some examples of crime emergencies that should be reported by calling 911 are:

  • Fights, sexual assaults, etc.
  • Homicides
  • Burglaries and robberies
  • Flashlight beam in a business or home, especially if the business is closed or the residents are away
  • Domestic violence
  • Child and elder abuse
  • Sounds of gunshots, screaming, barking dogs, breaking glass, explosions, alarms, etc.
  • Hit and run accidents with possible injuries
  • Vehicles containing weapons or property not normally kept in vehicles
  • Ongoing dumping of fuel or other hazardous substances
  • Road hazards that require immediate attention to prevent personal injuries and property damage
  • Graffiti and other acts of vandalism in progress
  • Runaway juvenile or missing person who needs special care -- be sure to tell the dispatcher if the person needs medication and has a special problem, e.g., Alzheimer’s disease

Persons seen doing the following should also be reported by calling 911:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Entering a neighbor’s home when the neighbor is away
  • Forcing an entry of a home, business, or vehicle
  • Exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms that poses a threat to him/herself or others
  • Removing property from a business, home, or vehicle, especially if the business is closed or the residents are away
  • Carrying or wearing bloody clothing
  • Struggling with a resisting child
  • Trying to or actually using a vehicle to pick up a person by force, especially a child or female

Non-Emergencies and Suspicious Activities

These can be reported to the SDPD or to the law enforcement agency with primary jurisdiction.

San Diego Police Department

The SDPD’s 24-hour numbers for non-emergency calls and general information are (619) 531-2000 and (858) 484-3154. Crimes and suspicious activities that fall into this category are: (a) those that don’t involve serious personal injury, property damage, or property loss; (b) ones in which there is no possibility that the suspect is still at the scene or is likely to return to the scene; and (c) ones for which an immediate response is not needed. If there is any doubt as to whether the situation is an emergency, it is always better to be on the safe side and call 911.

The SDPD response to non-emergency calls will depend on the relative seriousness or priority of the situation, the likelihood of making an arrest at the scene, and the availability of an officer. Response times are the longest for so-called “cold crimes” like home burglaries where the perpetrator has fled the scene, no suspects exist, and the victim is in no further danger.

Some example situations that may not be emergencies are:

  • Home and business burglaries in which the suspect is gone from the scene
  • Open or broken doors or windows in businesses or homes, especially if the business is closed or the residents are away
  • Stolen checks and credit cards -- also call the financial institutions involved to have them stop payments of checks and verifications of charges
  • Impersonation and stolen identification, e.g., drivers license
  • Auto theft and vandalism
  • Hit and run accidents with no injuries
  • Minors violating curfew
  • Loud parties -- the person calling must be willing to sign a complaint
  • Road hazards that don’t require immediate attention
  • Past instances of graffiti or other vandalism
  • Past instances of child or elder abuse
  • Runaway juvenile or missing adult who does not need special care
  • Car or building alarms
  • Underage drinking
  • Accumulations of consumer goods, especially in good condition and not in use in homes, garages, and storage areas

Persons seen doing the following may not be emergencies:

  • Disturbing the peace, i.e., loitering, panhandling, noise making, and harassing others
  • Soliciting without a license, not displaying a valid registration card, or operating between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
  • Going door-to-door, or into side or back yards in a residential area
  • Loitering near a business or home, especially if the business is closed or the residents are away
  • Loitering near schools or parks
  • Looking into parked vehicles
  • Running other than for exercise
  • Carrying property at an unusual time and place
  • Entering and leaving property on daily or regular basis, or in large numbers, especially at night
  • Drunk in public but not in any immediate danger
  • Exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms but not a danger to themselves or others
  • Offering goods for sale at ridiculously low prices
  • Making a quick change of vehicles

Vehicles seen doing the following may not be emergencies:

  • Moving slowly, especially without lights at night, in aimless or repetitive manner, or near schools or parks
  • Parked and occupied at an unusual time or place
  • Parked for more than 72 hours, possibly abandoned, or otherwise parked illegally on city streets
  • Parked on city streets but cannot be operated safely thereon because of a missing part or piece of equipment
  • Being loaded with property at a closed business or a home when the residents are away
  • Being dismantled or repaired, especially at night or in a parking lot, garage, or non-business location
  • Being used for business transactions, especially near schools or parks
  • Being driven in an erratic manner

If you observe multiple incidents at a particular location that you want the SDPD to investigate you can fill out a CRF (Citizens Request Form) at any SDPD Storefront, Satellite Office, or Area Station. The addresses and phone numbers of these facilities are in the table at the end of this paper. Or you can fill out and submit the request form on-line at”


You can also report non-emergency situations and suspicious activities directly to some investigative units during normal business hours if you have enough information for the unit to start an investigation. Units that will take calls directly are listed in the government pages of the phone book. Other numbers that you can call are listed below:

  • Neighborhood Policing Resource Team. Call (619) 446-1017 to report public pay phones that are being used by persons loitering or involved in prostitution, drug dealing, graffiti, and other nuisances.
  • Gangs. Call (619) 531-2847 to report threats by known gang members, gang activities, and gang-related graffiti. Call (619) 531-2532, the 24-hour gang hotline, to provide information on incidents of gang violence. Your call can be anonymous, or you can leave your name for a detective to call back.
  • Traffic. Call (858) 495-7800 regarding recurring violations of traffic laws at specific locations, e.g., speeding, running red lights and stop signs, etc. Because such violations are classified as infractions and must be witnessed by a police officer before any enforcement action can be taken, the SDPD cannot act on complaints of specific violations by an identified vehicle. However, in the case of misdemeanor violations, e.g., reckless driving and hit-and-runs, enforcement action can be taken if a private person witnesses the incident and can identify the driver or the license number of the vehicle.

In 1998 the SDPD formed a STOP (San Diego Traffic Offender Program) team to deal with the growing problem of persons driving with revoked or suspended licenses. The team sets up checkpoints and takes reports from the public. Call the STOP team at (858) 495-7830 to report persons driving with revoked or suspended licenses.

  • Vehicle Abatement. Call the SDPD Vehicle Abatement Office at (858) 495-7856 regarding abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, or inoperative vehicles or vehicle parts on private property (not yours) if they are not lawfully stored thereon. Call the SDPD at (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154 regarding any such vehicles or parts on city streets or public property. The vehicles will be inspected and steps will be taken to have them removed if they are in violation of the law.

Other Law Enforcement Agencies

Crimes and suspicious activities of which the SDPD does not have jurisdiction should be reported directly to the proper agency. An exception to this is when the crime is in progress -- then call 911. The SDPD will notify the responsible agency. The phone numbers and jurisdictions of other law enforcement agencies for non-emergencies are given below:

  • California Highway Patrol. Call (858) 637-3800 to report highway non-emergencies such as accidents, parked vehicles not blocking traffic lanes, and graffiti on freeway signs, over-crossings, and bridge pillars. Use 911 to report highway emergencies such a reckless driving, hit and runs, and vehicles blocking traffic lanes.
  • FBI. Call (858) 565-1255 regarding bank robberies and fraud, kidnapping, extortion, terrorism, espionage, interstate theft, and computer and telemarketing fraud. Call (877) 662-7423, a 24-hour toll-free hotline, to report corruption among local, state, and federal officials. For more information visit the FBI website at


  • San Diego City Attorney. Call the Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit at (619) 533-5600 Monday through Friday from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. to report consumer fraud, illegal disposal of hazardous substances, etc. Call the Public Integrity Unit at (619) 235-5888 Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to report instances of fraud, waste, or abuse of city funds or resources by city employees or others. This unit also investigates violations of state and federal campaign laws in city elections.
  • San Diego Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program. Call the Storm Water Hotline at (619) 235-1000 to report dumping of fuel or other hazardous substances in city storm drains.
  • San Diego County District Attorney. Call the Real Estate Fraud Subdivision at (619) 531-3552 if you suspect you are a victim of real estate fraud.
  • San Diego County Sheriff. Call (858) 565-5200 regarding non-emergency situations and persons outside the City but still in the County.
  • U.S. Border Patrol. Call (619) 662-7321 regarding activities of illegal or suspected undocumented persons.
  • U.S. Post Office. Call the Postal Inspector at (619) 233-0610 to report stolen, opened, or rifled mail, mail fraud, telemarketing fraud involving mail, and other mail-related crimes. Call 911 if you suspect a piece of mail is contaminated or contains an explosive. Otherwise do not handle or sniff it, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Call the SDPD at (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154 about other pieces of suspicious mail.


Information about crimes committed in the City should be reported directly to the SDPD. Or if you don’t want to get involved, you can call Crime Stoppers.

San Diego Police Department

To provide information about a crime that is under investigation, call the detective handling the case. If you don’t know the detective’s name, call your local SDPD Area Station and ask to speak with the detective assigned to the case. If the case is being handled by one of the central investigative units, you will be given the name and phone number of the detective to contact.

Generally the City does not pay rewards for information about crimes. However, a City ordinance authorizes the City Manager to pay a reward of up to $500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of graffiti vandals. Claim forms for this Spray and Pay Rewards Program can be obtained online at

or by calling the Graffiti Program Office at (619) 525-8522.

Crime Stoppers

Crime Stoppers is a citizen-operated, non-profit organization that works in partnership with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to help solve serious crimes. It gives community members an opportunity to fight crime without “getting involved.” If you think you might have information concerning a serious crime or felony suspect, call toll free (888) 580-8477. This number can also be used by students, teachers, and parents to provide anonymous tips about safety concerns and potential problems at their schools.

The operator on this 24-hour hotline will take your information and give you a code number. All calls remain confidential. If your information leads to an arrest you could earn a reward of up to $1,000. The tip-line operator will explain how you can use your code number to give additional information and how to collect your reward. See the Crime Stoppers website at

for information on wanted fugitives, e-mailing of crime information, etc.

In October 1999 Crime Stoppers set up a special program with the San Diego Unified School District in which students can receive cash rewards of up to $1000 for tips or information that solve or prevent campus violence or vandalism to school property. These calls should also go to (888) 580-8477.