Crime and Public-Safety News, September 15

Hidden Valley area faces casing scam

Residents of the Hidden Valley area are reporting a possible "casing" situation in their neighborhood, in which two individuals have been coming door to door (citing different reasons for being there), possibly hoping to get a glimpse inside the house. The suspicious persons are described as two African-American women, with some presuming they are mother and daughter.

One of the first incidents took place at the home of Isabelle Marouf, who said her house is equipped with a camera and intercom system. She explained, "We were all home, it was 7:30 at night (before the weekend of Sept. 10). We didn't even hear anything, but the dog heard something and started barking at the front door. My husband went to the door and said 'hello' via the intercom. The persons at the door were talking, but they were mumbling and speaking softly, it was obvious they did not want to be heard clearly, and they wanted us to open the door.

"My husband said a few times 'Can you say that again?' and 'I didn't understand that,' before he finally said 'we're not interested.' At that point, they looked upstairs and saw me at the window. They seemed very upset that we didn't open the door."

Soon after, she got a call from a neighbor indicating they had a similar experience with individuals of a similar description and were "freaked out," Marouf said. "When they went to my neighbor's house, they said they had a package and needed a signature, and again seemed frustrated the homeowner wouldn't open the door."

Another third neighbor reported the same encounter, but this time, the casers were claiming to be selling magazines.

For Karen Marshall, the twosome came to her house, also claiming to be selling magazines. "I was gardening and they walked toward my backyard and up to my side gate," she said. "When they said they were selling magazines, I asked to see their vendors' license and ID, and the older woman said it was in her purse. While one of them was talking to me, the other was looking inside my house and toward my neighbor's house."

Marshall said she promptly called her neighbors to alert them.

Having lived in the area for 20 years, Marouf said she was familiar with this scam, and knows never to open the door, but felt bad for those that are not so savvy. "I worry for those who are naïve to these kinds of things, and open their doors," she said. "We wanted to get the word out to La Jollans that this is happening in our neighborhood and for people to be informed on what to do and what not to do."

How to best share the road with bicyclists

On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.

The National Safety Council has issued these reminders for motorists and bicyclists sharing the same roads:

• When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist.

• When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass.

• If you're turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals.

• Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this.

• Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods.

• Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars.

• Check side mirrors before opening your door.

Man run over while sleeping on median

Police are continuing to investigate a serious injury accident that took place in La Jolla Shores on Sept. 7 in which a 75-year-old woman was driving a SUV and drove over a raised median, where a 50-year-old male was sleeping in the grass.

According to police reports, the driver pulled into the parking lot at 2206 Torrey Pines Road. She started to pull into a parking stall and stepped on the gas pedal, at which point she drove onto the median. The female continued onto La Jolla Shores Drive. The female re-entered the parking lot and parked.

A witness advised her that she drove over someone. The male victim was transported to a local hospital with pelvic, spine and rib fractures. He is in critical condition.

Police Blotter

Aug. 19

Vehicle break-in, 1000 block Archer Street, 8:20 p.m.

Aug. 23

Commercial burglary, 1000 block Nautilus Street, 3 a.m.

Aug. 25

DUI, 6400 block La Jolla Scenic Drive South, 3:50 p.m.

Aug. 31

Assault on person, 6400 block La Jolla Scenic Drive South, 6:15 p.m.

Vehicle theft, 400 block Bonair Street, 10:30 p.m.

Sept. 2

Vehicle break-in, 2600 block Torrey Pines Road, 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 3

Sexual battery, 8300 block Camino Del Oro, 8 p.m.

Open container in public park, 8300 block Camino Del Oro, 10:20 p.m.

Sept. 5

Possession of controlled substance for sale, 300 block Kolmar Street, 1:23 p.m.

Vehicle break-in, 1000 block Prospect Street, 5 p.m.

Sept. 7

Vehicle break-in, 5700 block Beaumont Avenue, 12 a.m.

Vandalism ($400 or more), 5600 block Bellevue Avenue, 12:15 a.m.

Petty theft, 2000 block Paseo Dorado, 2:30 a.m

Residential burglary, 5900 block Caminito Cardelina, 7 a.m.

Residential burglary, 800 block Van Nuys Street, 10 p.m.

Grand theft over $950, 1000 block Coast Boulevard, 10:30 p.m.

Sept. 8

Residential burglary, 5300 block Westknoll Lane, 4 a.m.

Vehicle break-in, 500 block Marine Street, 9 p.m.

Sept. 9

Theft, 7500 block Girard Avenue, 5:45 p.m.

Sept. 10

Vehicle break-in, 1100 block Coast Boulevard, 6:50 a.m.

Drugs or drugs with alcohol, 300 block Marine Street, 7:37 p.m.

Sept. 11

Commercial burglary, 7500 block La Jolla Boulevard, 10:59 p.m.

To report a non-emergency crime: Call the San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154. In an emergency, call 9-1-1.

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