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La Jolla Crime and Public-Safety News: Feb. 7 - Cindy Greatrex sentenced, repays stolen money; Police review info on missing tourist; BBB issues tax-time advice

La Jolla community activist Cindy Greatrex is pictured here leading a past meeting of the La Jolla Community Planning Association, a community board on which she also formerly served as president. Greatrex is accused of stealing more than $67,000 from La Jolla Recreation Center funds.

La Jolla community activist Cindy Greatrex is pictured here leading a past meeting of the La Jolla Community Planning Association, a community board on which she also formerly served as president. Greatrex is accused of stealing more than $67,000 from La Jolla Recreation Center funds.

(La Jolla Light File Photo)

Cindy Greatrex sentenced, repays stolen money

La Jolla resident and former community volunteer Cindy Greatrex was sentenced in San Diego Superior Court on Jan. 29 to 180 days of home detention for the theft of $68,272 from the La Jolla Recreation Center.

Greatrex repaid the full amount stolen as part of her sentencing.

She will be confined to her house and a select few other locations — such as work and grocery stores — by way of a GPS-enabled electronic ankle bracelet, and at the conclusion of her 180 days, she will serve four years’ probation.

Representing The People, in the People vs. Cindy Greatrex, San Diego County District Attorney Gina Darvas said Greatrex made a brief statement apologizing for the hardship this had brought to her family.

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“(However,) Judge Tim Walsh pointed out the defense statements were all about how hard this was on her, and the only thing defense talked about was how this was inconveniencing her, and there was not a mention of remorse or apology,” Darvas said.

“The judge said this was a serious offense and victimized the charity and caused problems for the community.”

Police review new information in missing Polish tourist

Following the discovery of new information, police are still looking for the male Polish tourist who went missing in mid-January, and whose last known location was Calumet Park in Bird Rock.

A friend of his reached out to La Jolla Light to report Michal Marcin Krowczynski was in San Diego on Jan. 17 and never made his return flight home.

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Following the report of his disappearance, San Diego Police reported two items believed to be Krowczynski’s — a can of deodorant with Polish writing and a single shoe — were found on a beach near Calumet Park.

Further, the friend reported she had contracted a drone to record aerial footage to see if any other items washed ashore, and that there might be home-surveillance camera footage that includes the sidewalk of Calumet Park.

Krowczynski is described as white, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 180 pounds with short brown hair and green eyes. He has a short beard and braces.

Those with information are asked to contact San Diego Police at (619) 531-2277 or e-mail: jlamar40@gmail.com

Better Business Bureau issues tax-time advice

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) receives thousands of complaints against tax preparers every year. Common complaints state the tax preparer made errors in their return, which resulted in fines and fees. Other complaints allege customer service, billing and contract issues.

BBB reminds consumers to be selective when hiring someone to prepare their returns. It is important to avoid mistakes which could result in additional fees or tax identity theft.

When searching for and selecting a tax preparer, the BBB has this advice:

Ask around. Get referrals from friends and family on who they use and check BBB profiles on local tax preparers and tax preparation services. Make sure to search for a tax preparer who is an expert in the type of service needed.

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Don’t fall for the promise of big refunds. Be wary of any tax preparation service that promises larger refunds than the competition and steer clear of tax preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the refund. Request an estimate and discuss the price before making an agreement. The cost of the service should be determined by the complexity of the return.

Verify credentials. Ideally, the selected tax preparer should either be a certified public accountant, a tax attorney, an enrolled agent or a certified E-file provider.

Make sure they have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).

Read tax preparation service contracts closely to ensure complete understanding of any issues, such as how much it’s going to cost, how the cost will be affected if preparation is more time consuming than expected and whether the preparer will represent their client, in case of an audit.

A completed copy of the return should be provided as well.

Be wary of tax scams. Identity thieves continue to create new ways of stealing personal information and using it for their gain.

To report fraudulent activity, call the BBB Hotline at (903) 581-8373, or report it via BBB ScamTracker. For more tips, visit irs.gov and bbb.org

Police Blotter

Jan. 17

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Vehicle break-in/theft, 700 block Prospect St., 3:30 p.m.

Jan. 23

Malicious mischief/misdemeanor vandalism, 7400 block Girard Ave., 2 p.m.

Vehicle theft, 900 block Loring, 4 p.m.

Jan. 25

Vandalism ($400 or more), 5400 block La Jolla Blvd., 4:39 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 1200 block Coast Blvd., 8:30 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 8300 block Via Sonoma, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 26

Vehicle break-in/theft, 3300 block Caminito Eastbluff, 1 a.m.

Vehicle theft, La Jolla Parkway at Torrey Pines Road, 8:30 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 8300 block Camino del Oro, 9:35 a.m.

Fraud, 8600 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 1:35 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 8300 block Camino del Oro, 3 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 8300 block Via Mallorca, 8:40 p.m.

Jan. 27

Commercial burglary, 500 block Coast Blvd., 5:45 a.m.

Vandalism ($400 or more), 8500 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 5:30 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 8800 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 7:20 p.m.

Grand theft, over $950, 5700 block La Jolla Blvd., 8:30 p.m.

Jan. 28

Misdemeanor vandalism, 7400 block Olivetas Ave., 1:30 a.m.

Residential burglary, 1300 block Cottontail Lane, 11:15 a.m.

Shoplifting, 8600 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 1:27 p.m.

Jan. 29

Residential burglary, 5300 block La Jolla Blvd., 5:30 a.m.

Grand theft, 7300 block Olivetas Ave., 8 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 8300 block Camino del Oro, 11:30 a.m.

Grand theft, 900 block Turquoise, 8 p.m.

Jan. 31

Residential burglary, 2300 block Calle de la Garza, 10:30 a.m.

Residential burglary, 5400 block Candlelight Drive, 3 p.m.

Residential burglary, 8200 block Paseo del Ocaso, 3 p.m.

Feb. 1

Vandalism ($400 or more), 7400 block La Jolla Blvd., 10:42 a.m.

Petty theft, 600 block Tourmaline St., 4:04 p.m.

Petty theft, 5500 block Linda Rosa Ave., 5:15 p.m.

Feb. 2

Vehicle break-in/theft, 600 block Via del Norte, 5:30 a.m.

Feb. 3

Petty theft, 5400 block La Jolla Blvd., 4:45 p.m.

Compiled by Ashley Mackin-Solomon


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