La Jolla crime and public safety news: Artwork stolen; insider trading charges; coronavirus; police blotter

This graphic was stolen from Barbarella Restaurant & Bar in La Jolla Shores on Aug. 22.

Barbarella graphic stolen from La Jolla restaurant of same name

A 48-by-72-inch graphic of 1960s science-fiction icon Barbarella — the namesake of the La Jolla Shores restaurant in which it was hung — was stolen the night of Aug. 22 along with two smaller pieces, the restaurant reported. The illustrations were in the restrooms and were taken during a busy dinner shift.

“The person that stole the art dismantled the frames in the restroom [when it was] incredibly busy,” said Jean Wells, public relations assistant. “The two smaller pieces were possibly rolled up and put into someone’s carrying bag. The empty frames were left behind.”

Smaller pieces of Barbarella-inspired art were stolen from Barbarella Restaurant & Bar on Aug. 22.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call (858) 454-7373.

Founder of former La Jolla biotech company faces insider trading charges

The founder of La Jolla’s Auspex Pharmaceuticals faces criminal and civil insider trading charges on allegations of leaking confidential information that led family and friends to buy shares of the company ahead of its 2015 sale to Teva Pharmaceutical for more than $3 billion.

The U.S. attorney’s office in New York last week brought securities and wire fraud charges against Sepehr Sarshar, 53, of Cardiff, who was a board member of Auspex at the time. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a parallel lawsuit against Sarshar with essentially the same allegations.

According to the complaints, Sarshar told his then-girlfriend, family members, a surfing buddy and college friends confidential details about the potential Teva acquisition between January 2015 and March 2015 that led them to trade in company shares.

On March 30, 2015, the proposed acquisition was announced. According to prosecutors, the leaked information allowed Sarshar’s family and friends to book illicit profits of $700,000.

Sarshar, now a real estate developer, declined to comment. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

Coronavirus numbers by ZIP code

The San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency posts an updated list at 8 a.m. daily of coronavirus cases by ZIP code, including rates per 100,000 residents. As of Aug. 31, ZIP code 92037 had 265 registered cases (up by 12 from the previous week) and 612.2 per 100,000. ZIP code is the code of residence, which may not be the location of exposure.

Police blotter

Aug. 14

Theft: 5600 block La Jolla Boulevard, noon

Aug. 21

Fraud: 7600 block Mar Avenue, 3 p.m.

Petty theft: 6800 block Neptune Place, 9:30 p.m.

Aug. 25

Felony grand theft: 6400 block Caminito Northland, 9 a.m.

Felony vehicle theft: 100 block Coast Boulevard, 9:30 p.m.

Aug. 26

Residential burglary: 9500 block La Jolla Shores Drive, 3 a.m.

Petty theft: 2000 block Spindrift Drive, 3:50 p.m.

Aug. 27

Petty theft: 7700 block Fay Avenue, 10:30 a.m.

Simple battery: 2000 block Torrey Pines Road, 11:30 a.m.

Simple battery: 7300 block Draper Avenue, noon

Drunk in public: 600 block Pearl Street, 10:36 p.m.

Aug. 29

Felony vehicle theft: 5600 block La Jolla Boulevard, 11:59 p.m.

Compiled by Ashley Mackin-Solomon from police and other local reports