Crime and Public-Safety News: Oct. 13

Uber car thief leads police pursuit to La Jolla

A woman suspected of stealing an Uber driver’s Mercedes Benz led San Diego officers on a car and foot chase into La Jolla Oct. 6, police said. The woman ran through a neighborhood near La Jolla Country Club and was arrested. Police said she suffered a possibly broken foot.

The Mercedes owner called police about 4:10 a.m. from an Arco gas station at Cass and Turquoise streets. He said he saw a woman get into the white car and drive off, and that she nearly hit him, Officer Tony Martinez said.

Officers found the car a short time later and the driver backed up to get away, hitting a patrol car. The damage was minor and the officer wasn’t hurt, Martinez said.

Skimming scam hits home

A La Jolla resident reports that she may have had her credit card “skimmed” at a La Jolla gas station last month, and the thieves used her card to spend more than $1,000 at Best Buy. San Diego County Sheriff’s Department issued a warning recently that someone has been installing scanning devices known as “skimmers” inside credit card readers at gas stations. These are used to steal your credit or debit card information, including pin numbers, to make fraudulent purchases.

The resident said she regularly uses her card at the same gas station, and after using the card at the station twice, her credit card statement came in with more than $1,000 in fraudulent purchases on it.

“When I saw my statement, I went to Best Buy and the clerks remembered the transaction because of the amount and the unusual items that were purchased, such as an older-model iPhone and a brand new Apple Watch,” she said. “They said it was two men, and gave me a copy of the receipt so I could file a police report.”

She added that she was frustrated that the retailer did not ask for identification when the scammers made such a large purchase.

“They didn’t take my card far away from San Diego, so my credit card company probably wasn’t alerted to anything unusual,” she said. “I was also pretty angry that this happened at a local gas station and that people weren’t monitoring the pumps to make sure they weren’t being tampered with. I didn’t even noticed that the pump had been altered, that’s what scary about it.”

Learning from the experience, she advised others to regularly check their credit card statements online. “If you don’t check your statement often, people could use your card for a while without being caught. It could happen to anybody.”

Police Blotter

Sept. 18

  • Petty theft, 5300 block La Jolla Boulevard, 12:30 a.m.

Sept. 20

  • Petty theft, 1300 block Caminito Arriata, 10 p.m.

Sept. 22

  • Motor vehicle theft, Cave Street at Prospect Street, 2 p.m.
  • Vehicle break-in, 6900 block Neptune Place, 10:05 p.m.

Oct. 2

  • Vehicle break-in, 8300 Camino Del Oro, 9 a.m.

Oct. 4

  • Vehicle break-in, 900 block La Jolla Rancho Road, 12 p.m.
  • Vandalism ($400) or more, 6300 block La Jolla Boulevard, 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 5

  • Misdemeanor vandalism, 7900 block Girard Avenue, 7:10 p.m.

Oct. 6

  • Assault with a deadly weapon other than firearm, 900 block Turquoise Street, 4 a.m.
  • Vehicle break-in, 7600 block Fay Avenue, 9 p.m.

Oct. 7

  • Vehicle break-in, 100 block Prospect Street, 10 p.m.

Oct. 9

  • Possession controlled substance paraphernalia, 5000 block La Jolla Boulevard, 6:15 a.m.
  • DUI, 700 block Sapphire Street, 5:56 p.m.
  • Petty theft, 7800 block Exchange Place, 6 p.m.