La Jolla Crime and Public-Safety News for November/December 2019
Car fire in La Jolla
PICTURED ABOVE: “Police responded to this incident at 4:10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 1 on the 300 block of Mira Monte in La Jolla. According to notes on the event, it didn’t appear to be an arson and is being looked at as an accident,” Officer Billy Hernandez told La Jolla Light.
Police seek burglar hitting La Jolla salons
La Jolla is experiencing a rash of break-ins, most of which involve a hair salon and a neighboring store. At 1:45 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, two Caucasian males broke into both the Opulence Salon, 7520 La Jolla Blvd., and the Shoe Repair & Leather Goods shop next door at 7514 La Jolla Blvd. The salon was burglarized of its cash register (which contained less than $500), the shoe-repair shop of only $20 cash. The thieves gained entry to both establishments by shattering their half-inch-thick glass front doors.
Shoe-repair shop owner Mohammed Alami said images showing the men were caught by his security camera, which police downloaded when they responded later that morning.
At 3:30 a.m. Nov. 9, a similar smash-and-grab occurred in Bird Rock, where a Caucasian perpetrator broke the glass front doors to gain entrance into the Glo Salon, 5707 La Jolla Blvd., and a neighboring store — the Bobbi Rocco boutique, whose camera caught him in the act. Again, cash registers were taken.
Finally, Koda Salon, 7843 Girard Ave., reported an unsuccessful burglary attempt — also on Nov. 9. The owner — alerted to the attempt via a Nest camera — reported on the Nextdoor app that two men attempted to pick the lock on the front door. Police were alerted in that instance. They arrived five minutes later but did not find the would-be thieves. — Corey Levitan
La Jolla house fire displaces family of 8
A family of eight and their three dogs were displaced by a fire ignited by a toaster oven in their La Jolla home on Saturday, Nov. 23 fire officials said.
The residents and pets got out safely and fire damage was limited to the kitchen.
San Diego Fire-Rescue crews found black smoke pouring out of windows and attic vents when they got to the home on La Jolla Scenic Drive North near Scenic Place about 12:20 p.m., Battalion Chief Lane Wooley told OnSceneTV.
It took them about 15 minutes to douse most of the flames. Wooley estimated damage to the home, mainly in the kitchen, at $120,000.
Brush fire extinguished in La Jolla Shores
An SUV caught fire in La Jolla, Sunday, Nov. 16, sparking a small brush fire in the area. The car fire was reported along La Jolla Shores Drive around noon. Police report the driver pulled over when he started to smell something burning in his vehicle. The engine caught fire moments later. The driver was able to escape uninjured. The fire spread to nearby brush on a hillside, which firefighters were able to quickly extinguish.
‘Unstable chemicals’ detonated after FBI discovery in Bird Rock
Crews detonated hazardous materials at a Bird Rock home Friday, Nov. 15, one day after San Diego FBI agents serving a search warrant found “unstable chemicals” at the site — a find that initially prompted evacuations from nearby homes.
Agents were serving the warrant at a home on Wrelton Drive near Chelsea Street “related to an ongoing investigation,” FBI San Diego spokeswoman Special Agent Davene Butler said in a statement.
Certain materials discovered in the home prompted the agents to request the help of San Diego County’s Hazardous Incident Response Team, Butler said, adding: “The hazardous materials team was tasked with assistance in detonating and disposing of unstable chemicals that were determined could not be transported safely.”
Some residents in the area were evacuated from their homes until officials could detonate the unstable chemicals.
San Diego Fire-Rescue crews were on hand in a support role for the Environmental Protection Agency, as officials worked to address the hazardous materials.
Before 1 p.m. Friday, a loud bang could be heard as crews detonated the material. An order for neighbors to evacuate or shelter-in-place was lifted, and the street was reopened. There were no injuries or damage, Fire-Rescue spokesman Jose Ysea said.
Butler said Friday that no arrests were made Friday, but that she could not comment further because the search warrant is sealed.
Drunk-driving patrols upped around Thanksgiving
Sheriff’s Deputies will be conducting additional impaired driving patrols across San Diego County from Thursday, Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving) through Sunday, Dec. 1. The goal is simple: to keep impaired drivers off the road and prevent crashes that can cause serious injury or death. So far this year, deputies have arrested more than 1,200 people for impaired driving.
During Thanksgiving weekend 2018, deputies arrested 11 people for impaired driving. 13 people were arrested for DUI during the same time period in 2017.
“Impaired driving doesn’t just mean alcohol,” said Sheriff Bill Gore. “It can also include prescription drugs and marijuana. If you are caught driving under the influence, you will spend Thanksgiving in jail.” You can watch a public safety video on the dangers and high price of impaired driving by following the Sheriff’s Department on VIMEO: https://vimeo.com/143896022
Also, don’t forget to buckle your seat belt, the sheriff added, as many car crash injuries and deaths could be prevented with the simple click of a seat belt. Sheriff’s Deputies are always on the lookout to make sure people are obeying California’s seat belt laws. If you’re caught not wearing a seat belt, you will be cited and fined. In California, the fine for a seat belt violation is $162. The fine for not securing a child in a child safety seat is $490.
Finally, a department also reminds drivers to say no to distracted driving. A driver who texts or uses a hand-held cell phone can cause a crash that leads to serious injuries or even death.
Funding for the Thanksgiving DUI/seat belt enforcement program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Trial begins for La Jolla restaurant owner accused of multiple sexual assaults
Opening statements were heard Monday, Dec. 2 in the trial of Voce del Mare restaurant owner Daniel Dorado, 61, who is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting eight women over a nine-year period. Dorado is charged with 35 felonies, including rape of an unconscious person and rape of an intoxicated person.
The restaurant on the 5700 block of La Jolla Boulevard has since closed permanently.
Prosecutors allege Dorado met the victims — who ranged in age from 22 to 58 — at local bars and restaurants, sometimes under the guise of a job interview, or through dating websites. He allegedly offered them spiked beverages, causing them to fall unconscious and wake up to the defendant having sex with them or otherwise sexually assaulting them.
Some of the women had sexual assault exams within hours of regaining consciousness, with DNA present. Dorado was taken into custody in March 2018 on suspicion of assaults on four women, with the other alleged victims coming forward later on learning of his arrest. The criminal complaint details crimes that allegedly occurred in 2009, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018. — City News Service
Serious injury collision on Torrey Pines Road
An 18-year-old male was driving a 2013 Mercedes GLK350 SUV, northbound on 9800 Torrey Pines Road at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26. A 31-year-old male pedestrian was crossing Torrey Pines Road in the No. 2 lane, not in the crosswalk when he was hit by the vehicle. The pedestrian was transported to the hospital by medics with major head trauma. Alcohol is not a factor. Traffic Division responded and is investigating the collision.
Police Blotter: La Jolla incidents reported to San Diego Police
• Vehicle break-in, 7800 block Fay Ave. 6 p.m.
• Grand theft, 700 block Turquoise, 3:30 p.m.
• Assault with deadly weapon, not firearm, 2000 block Nautilus St. 5:30 p.m.
• Grand theft, 7200 block Eads Ave., 10:30 a.m.
• Theft, 6200 block La Jolla Hermosa, 6:04 p.m.
• Drunk in public, 1400 block Olivet Lane, 3:35 p.m.
• Fraud, Girard Ave. and Wall St. 11 p.m.
• Stolen Vehicle, Fay Ave. and Kline St. 12:30 p.m.
• Fraud, 5400 block Westknoll Drive, 1 p.m.
• Rape, 400 block Playa Del Norte, 8 p.m. (Details unavailable at press time)
• Drunk in public, 6700 block Vista Del Mar, 7:07 p.m.
• Vehicle break-in, 400 block La Canada, 5 p.m. Nov. 18
• Petty theft, 1100 block Van Nuys St. 11:29 a.m.
• Vehicle break-in, Camino Del Reposo and La Jolla Shores Drive, 12:30, 1:30 p.m.
• Drunk in public, 6900 block La Jolla Blvd. 10:24 p.m.
• Grand theft, 5500 block Chelsea Ave. 9:04 a.m.
• Residential burglary, 1500 block Buckingham Drive, 8:03 p.m.
• Vehicle stolen, 1200 block Prospect St. 6:30 p.m.
• Use of controlled substance, 5000 Block Cass St. 12:39 a.m.
• Petty theft, 1600 block Calle de Cinco, 9:22 p.m.
• Vehicle break-in, 6000 block Avenida Cresta, 3 p.m.
• Vehicle break-in, 800 block Agate St. 7:45 p.m.
• Vandalism, 5300 block Chelsea St. 10 p.m.
• Vehicle break-in, La Jolla Shores Drive/Torrey Pines Road, 6 a.m.
• Stolen vehicle, Fay Ave./Genter St. 10:40 a.m.
• Stolen vehicle, 5300 block Chelsea St. 7 p.m.
• Petty theft, 100 block Cave St. 7:17 a.m.
• Fraud, 300 block Prospect St. 10 a.m.
• Drunk in public, 1100 block Prospect St. 3:48 a.m.
• Vehicle break-in, 2600 block Costebelle Drive, 2:09 a.m.
• Vehicle break-in, 5600 block Ladybird Lane, 12 a.m.
• Likely to cause elder-adult harm, 1400 block Calle Altura. 10:55 a.m.
• Narcotics purchase, 2800 block Palomino Circle, 6:17 p.m.
• Vehicle break-in, 6400 block Avenida Cresta, 3:30 p.m.
• Vehicle break-in, 5100 block Foothill Blvd. 9:05 a.m.
• Vehicle break-in/theft, 8200 block Camino del Oro, 3:45 p.m.
• DUI alcohol/drug, 7700 block Ivanhoe Ave. 6:16 p.m.
• Commercial burglary, 7500 block Fay Ave. 5:27 a.m.
— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff from San Diego Police reports