La Jolla crime and public safety news: Guilty plea in bank robberies; coronavirus numbers; police blotter

To report a non-emergency crime, call the San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154.
To report a non-emergency crime, call the San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154. In an emergency, dial 911.

Former UCSD neuroscientist pleads guilty to bank robbery spree

A former postdoctoral neuroscience researcher at UC San Diego pleaded guilty Aug. 30 to carrying out a series of robberies at San Diego-area credit unions.

Karl William Doron, 45, a former Marine sergeant, pleaded guilty to nearly a dozen counts of robbery and attempted robbery stemming from a string of bank heists between Dec. 28, 2018, and March 5, 2019, in various parts of San Diego and Chula Vista.

Doron’s sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 27 in San Diego County Superior Court.

Prosecutors said Doron was under surveillance on the day of the last robbery, when he held up employees at a Navy Federal Credit Union in Sorrento Valley. He was arrested immediately after the heist and was carrying a loaded handgun and just over $5,000 in cash.

When pleading guilty, Doron admitted he was armed with a handgun during the last two robberies.

In most of the heists, he was accused of securing cash through verbal demands or notes slipped to bank tellers. He made off with $1,000 to $5,000 in each robbery and $10,000 to $15,000 total, according to prosecutors.

Investigators tracked down Doron through his car, which was photographed by a bank teller following an attempted robbery. Surveillance footage from another robbery captured the license plate of the suspect’s car, police said.

A UC San Diego spokesperson said Doron worked in the university’s psychology department from 2014 to 2015. Doron served in the Marine Corps between 1994 and 1998, earning the rank of sergeant at the time of his last assignment at Camp Pendleton. According to his LinkedIn page, he earned a doctorate in psychological and brain sciences from UC Santa Barbara in 2011. — City News Service and The San Diego Union-Tribune

La Jolla ZIP code surpasses 2,000 coronavirus cases

The San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency posts an updated list of coronavirus cases by ZIP code, including rates per 100,000 residents. Through Aug. 24, ZIP code 92037 had 2,026 registered cases (up by 62 from the previous count) and 4,680.6 per 100,000. ZIP code is the code of residence, which may not be the location of exposure.

The county also posts a list by ZIP code of the number of residents who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Through Aug. 24, 34,361 residents of the 92037 ZIP code had received a vaccine.

Police blotter

Further details were unavailable from San Diego police.

July 30

Grand theft: 5400 block La Jolla Boulevard, 3 p.m.

Aug. 7

Driving under the influence (alcohol): 2400 block La Jolla Parkway, 10:33 p.m.

Aug. 13

Felony grand theft: 5300 block Chelsea Street, noon

Aug. 14

Vehicle break-in/theft: 2300 block Paseo Dorado, 8:20 p.m.

Aug. 21

Battery on person: 6600 block Caminito Hermitage, 10:39 p.m.

Aug. 22

Felony grand theft: 7500 block La Jolla Boulevard, 1 p.m.

Aug. 24

Petty theft: 800 block Turquoise Street, 2:15 a.m.

Commercial burglary: 600 block Tourmaline Street, 4:30 p.m.

Driving under the influence (alcohol): 1900 block Caminito El Canario, 7:20 p.m.

Aug. 25

Battery on person: 6900 block La Jolla Boulevard, 2:03 a.m.

Drunk in public: 2100 block Avenida de la Playa, 4:54 p.m.

Aug. 26

Battery on person: 8600 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 12:20 a.m.

Vandalism: 8800 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 9 p.m.

Aug. 27

Vehicle break-in/theft: 5000 block La Jolla Boulevard, 6 p.m.

Assault with a deadly weapon (not a firearm): 8600 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 11:40 p.m.

Aug. 28

Residential burglary: 2600 block Calle del Oro, 5 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft: 900 block Muirlands Drive, 6 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft: 3200 block Caminito Eastbluff, 8 p.m.

Aug. 29

Residential burglary: 2100 block Calle Frescota, 11:50 p.m.

Aug. 30

Felony vehicle theft: 7400 block Olivetas Avenue, 3:45 a.m.

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