La Jolla Crime and Public-Safety News: Dec. 27 - Postal worker helps save house from fire; Weekly list of La Jolla incidents reported to San Diego Police


Postal worker helps save house from fire

A La Jolla postal worker prevented what could have been a destructive house fire in the Mount Soledad area, Dec. 18, through her attention to her surroundings and care for the residents.

Postal carrier Evelyn Molina was delivering mail on her route along Soledad Mountain Road, when as she approached one front door, she said she could smell smoke and hear the fire alarm going off.

Postmaster Anita Tamapua told La Jolla Light: “She wasn’t sure what was going on because she did not see any flames, but the smell of the smoke was very strong, and while we were on the phone, she said that she could actually see the smoke coming through the windows.”

Molina called 911 and emergency personnel arrived within minutes to find a fire in the kitchen.

“Fortunately, no one was home and the house was saved,” Tamapua said. “An elderly woman who lives there alone, said she apparently left something on the stove and had forgotten about it. If carrier Molina had not paid attention to her surroundings — or if she decided to just walk by — who knows what could have happened.”

NHTSA: ‘It is never OK to drive impaired’

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reminds Americans that it is never OK to drive impaired. Motorists traveling in the coming weeks can expect to see increased law enforcement on the road as part of the high-visibility Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, running Dec. 27-31. This year, for the first time, NHTSA’s annual Drive Sober campaign has expanded to focus not just on drunk, but also on drug-impaired driving with the If You Feel Different, You Drive Different campaign.

Last year, California ranked second among states with the highest number of alcohol-related crashes in the month of December. Across the state, 97 lives were lost in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver.

NHTSA recommends the following actions to stay safe this holiday season:

It is never OK to drive drunk or high. Designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride-share service to get home safely. Before you go out, download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices, and Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices. It lets you share your location so a friend can pick you up. The app is free.

If a friend or family member is impaired by alcohol or drugs and planning to drive, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get home safely. Don’t worry about offending someone — they’ll thank you later.

Be alert and distraction-free, and if you see an impaired driver, call 911 as soon as it is safe to do so.

Buckle up. Wearing your seat belt is your best defense against an impaired driver.

Police Blotter

Dec. 1

Petty theft, 6200 block Dowling Drive, 3:07 p.m.

Dec. 3

Petty theft, 5700 block Santa Fe St., 3 a.m.

Dec. 6

Vehicle break-in/theft, 6000 block Bellevue Ave., 1 a.m.

Dec. 7

Vehicle theft, 1200 block Prospect St., 12:01 a.m.

Open container in park, 7400 block Girard Ave., 10:15 a.m.

Dec. 13

Vandalism ($400 or more), 1400 block Opal St., 9:15 a.m.

Dec. 15

Vehicle theft, 700 block Wilbur Ave., 8:30 a.m.

Vehicle theft, 6000 block Camino de la Costa, 10:30 a.m.

Vehicle theft, 1100 block Silverado St., 1 p.m.

Vehicle theft, 700 block Turquoise St., 8 p.m.

Dec. 16

Assault, 1400 block Opal St., 1:35 a.m.

Dec. 17

Vehicle theft, 6100 block Camino de la Costa, 10 p.m.

Dec. 18

Possession of unlawful paraphernalia, 5700 block La Jolla Blvd., 3:45 a.m.

Vehicle theft, 300 block Dunemere Drive, 10 a.m.

Compiled by Ashley Mackin-Solomon