La Jolla Crime and Public-Safety News


Pharmaca Pharmacy burglarized

Pharmaca Pharmacy on Girard Avenue was burglarized Aug. 30, in what may have been a spree of pharmacy-related break-ins across the city. Pharmaca manager Amiee Edwards said at 3:37 a.m. that Tuesday, three masked men broke into the 7650 Girard Ave. location. “They immediately went to our pharmacy; they didn’t go for anything else or make an attempt at our safe. There were in the store for two-and-a-half minutes. They knew exactly what they were doing; it was completely pharmacy-related,” she said.

“They got away with a small amount of what we had in stock. There was a long list of drugs that they got. Thankfully, they did this outside of store hours so no one was here. There was no violence. It was quick in and out, and police were on scene relatively quickly.”

Police reported receiving other calls pertaining the pharmacy break-ins that night.

“Compared to how things could have been, we consider this to be fairly minor,” Edwards said, adding the incident brought to light improvements that could be made to the pharmacy’s security system. The police investigation continues.

SANDAG: Property, violent crime up

Property crime went up by 4 percent countywide in the first half of 2016, compared to the same time period last year, while violent crime increased by 1 percent, according to the mid-year crime report released last week by the SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division. The full report can be found at

Included in property crime were auto thefts and burglaries. Motor vehicle thefts increased 16 percent in the first half of 2016, compared to mid-year 2015 (5,551 vehicles stolen, up from 4,778), that’s an average of four more per day.

Also on the rise were residential and commercial burglaries. The 5,291 burglaries reported in the San Diego region in the first half of 2016 represented an increase of 6 percent from the first half of 2015 (when there were 5,012).

Other highlights from the report include:

A total of 5,409 violent crimes were reported to law enforcement agencies in the region between January and June 2016, an average of 30 per day, about one more per day than the first half of 2015.

A total of 1,396 robberies were reported across the region, an increase of 4 percent in the first half of 2016, over mid-year 2015 (1,337).

A total of 31,799 property crimes were reported in the first half of 2016: 66 percent were larcenies, 17 percent burglaries, and 17 percent motor vehicle thefts. Property crimes make up the vast majority of crimes (85 percent) reported in the region.

Across property crime categories, burglaries were up 6 percent during the first six months of 2016, larcenies up by 1 percent, and motor vehicle thefts up by 16 percent.

Police provide bicycle theft prevention tips

Northern Division Community Relations Police Officer Larry Hesselgesser reminds residents that most bicycle thefts are considered a misdemeanor under Prop 47, because the bikes stolen are often valued under $950. “A lot of these thefts can be deterred by taking some simple precautions,” he said. “Unless a serial number is included in the theft report, police cannot prove ownership of the bike in most cases, so writing this number down is very important and keeping it handy in your records. Some bicycle shops will register bicycles and there are some websites that offer this service. Unfortunately, the City of San Diego no longer offers bicycle registration.”

Officer Hesselgesser added:

1. Choose a lock based on your needs. A small, lightweight cable lock is usually good enough for quick mid-ride stops at local coffee shops. If you’re leaving your bike unattended all day while you’re at work or school, invest in a more heavy duty lock. U-Locks are a solid choice as they are not too big to carry but offer a decent amount of protection.

2. Lock your bike frame AND wheels to an immovable object. For maximum security, your cable lock or chain should be long enough to wrap around the bike’s frame, both wheels, and whatever you are locking your bike to. If you can’t include both wheels, then wrap the lock or U-Lock around the frame and the front wheel. Using a U-lock and cable provides the most secure way to lock up every major part of your bike.

Lock your bike to an enclosed object that won’t let the lock be slipped off, ideally, a bike parking rack. If you have to use a free-standing pole, such as a parking meter or sign post, be sure that it’s high enough that your bike and lock can’t just be lifted right over the top.

3. Park in a spot with visibility. If you choose a secluded, out-of-the way location, it might be less noticed, however, it provides a thief a better place to work on taking your bike without being spotted. Well lit, heavily travelled areas make for a good balance. Use your lock even when your bike is parked in your own garage at home. Garage doors left open offer thieves an easy target.

4. Keep a record of your bike and the serial number. Find the serial number of your bicycle, and make a note of it in your records at home. Keep a picture of the bike with your records, too. The serial number is usually stamped on the underside of the bottom bracket shell, this is the part of the bike frame where the pedals connect. There are several online resources (some free, some paid) that let you register your bike’s serial number, and report it as stolen if necessary. Check out the National Bike Registry or

If your bike is ever stolen, the serial number can help get it back. Many law enforcement agencies have stolen recovered bicycles that have no record and must be auctioned off after a certain amount of time has passed, usually 90 days.

If the police cannot prove the bike is yours, they will have a difficult time retrieving it for you in the event you find it in someone else’s possession. Online secondary sellers like Craigslist are a good place to post your stolen bike and to check if someone is trying to re-sell it.

Police Blotter

Aug. 20

Vehicle theft, Abalone Place at Bird Rock Avenue, 11:30 a.m.

Aug. 24

Vehicle break-in, 7900 block Roseland Drive, 8 a.m.

Vandalism, 1000 block Wilbur Avenue, 10 p.m.

Aug. 26

Vandalism ($400 or more), 1800 block Soledad Avenue, 4 p.m.

Aug. 27

Assault, 8200 block Camino Del Oro, 2 p.m.

Aug. 28

Vandalism ($400 or more), 800 block Turquoise Street, 4:30 a.m.

Aug. 29

Open container in park, 6900 Neptune Place, 12:50 p.m.

Open container in park, 6900 Neptune Place, 12:52 p.m.

Vandalism ($400 or more), 800 block Van Nuys Street, 3:45 p.m.

Petty theft, 4900 block Crystal Drive, 9 p.m.

Aug. 30

Residential robbery, 600 block Loring Street, 6:40 a.m.

Aug. 31

Grand theft over $950, 5500 block Bellevue Avenue, 4 p.m.

Vandalism ($400 or more), 200 block Bird Rock Avenue, 6 p.m.

Sept. 1

Residential burglary, 1800 block Soledad Avenue, 4 p.m.

Disorderly conduct (alcohol), 1700 block Torrey Pines Road, 6:40 p.m.

Sept. 2

Assault with a deadly weapon (other than firearm), 8200 block El Paseo Grande, 12:50 a.m.

Sept. 3

Vehicle break-in, 8300 block La Jolla Shores Drive, 12 p.m.

Burglary (shoplifting), 7500 block Girard Avenue, 8:10 p.m.

Sept. 4

Assault, 7400 block Hillside Drive, 4:45 p.m.

Sept. 5

Under the influence of controlled substance, 300 block Kolmar Street, 1:47 p.m.