Crime and public safety news: Muirlands burglary; no charges for T. Denny Sanford; coronavirus; 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.

Muirlands home burglarized with method similar to South American crime ring

After a lull in a string of burglaries linked to a South American crime ring in recent months, the Muirlands neighborhood of La Jolla appears to have been targeted again.

A La Jolla Rancho Road resident told the La Jolla Light that the person’s house was broken into in mid-May in a manner similar to previous home burglaries.

“They smashed a back sliding glass door and were very targeted in their theft,” according to the resident, who requested anonymity.

The break-in happened while the occupants were away. “They focused on stealing our safe and our jewelry,” the resident said.

In January, a series of home burglaries in Muirlands was linked to a “sophisticated” South American crime ring. San Diego police Capt. Scott Wahl said during a Jan. 21 community meeting that there had been 56 residential burglaries in La Jolla in the preceding six months, 18 of them believed connected to the crime ring. As a result, the Police Department’s Northern Division stepped up its resources in the area, including plainclothes officers and a detective on a task force to follow leads.

No burglaries were reported from Jan. 21 to late February, but police Lt. Rick Aguilar told the La Jolla Town Council on March 10 that an additional break-in had taken place.

The thieves case a house to determine when the residents leave and the home is empty, police say. They often break into a door or window at the back of a house, usually upstairs (by scaling patio furniture or a wall), since windows on upper floors are less likely to have alarms. They frequently target the master bedroom and bathroom, looking for expensive jewelry.

No charges for La Jolla philanthropist T. Denny Sanford in South Dakota child porn probe

The South Dakota attorney general’s office has declined to file charges against billionaire T. Denny Sanford following an investigation into possible possession of child pornography, saying it found no “prosecutable offenses” within the state’s jurisdiction, according to a court document filed May 27.

Sanford, a banker turned philanthropist who lives part time in La Jolla, has donated billions to hospitals, universities and charities. In 2019, South Dakota investigators began searching his email account, as well as his cellular and internet service providers, for possible possession of child pornography after his accounts were flagged by a technology firm.

The attorney general’s office had no comment last week about the investigation beyond its court filing.

“Mr. Sanford appreciates the public acknowledgement by the S.D. attorney general’s office that the DCI [South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation] has concluded its investigation and they have found no prosecutable crime,” said Marty Jackley, Sanford’s attorney.

Several San Diego institutions bear Sanford’s name, particularly at UC San Diego and at Sanford Burnham Prebys, an institute in La Jolla that studies diseases and drug development. — Associated Press and La Jolla Light

Coronavirus by the numbers

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 May 21, ZIP code 92037 (estimated population 43,400) had a total of 5,839 registered cases (up by 147 from the previous count) and 13,829 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 May 26, 40,769 residents of the 92037 ZIP code had received at least one dose; 35,975 were considered fully vaccinated and 22,974 were fully vaccinated and had received a booster dose.

Police blotter

Further details were unavailable from San Diego police.

May 2

Fraud: 200 block Prospect Street, 11:50 a.m.

May 13

Fraud: 1100 block Prospect Street, 1:02 p.m.

Vandalism: 2400 block Corona Court, 7 p.m.

Felony grand theft: 2000 block Paseo Dorado, 10:30 p.m.

May 15

Felony grand theft: 300 block Bonair Street, midnight

May 22

Commercial burglary: 700 block Pearl Street, 3:23 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft: La Jolla Boulevard at Sapphire Street, 2:45 p.m.

Petty theft: 8800 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 5:40 p.m.

May 23

Exhibition of firearm: 2800 block Torrey Pines Scenic Drive, 1:28 a.m.

Drunk in public: 6900 block La Jolla Boulevard, 6:10 p.m.

May 24

Felony grand theft: 600 block Westbourne Street, midnight

May 25

Street robbery (no weapon): 1000 block Sapphire Street, 5:29 p.m.

May 26

Residential burglary: 5800 block Sagebrush Road, 5:54 p.m.

May 27

Felony grand theft: 10000 block North Torrey Pines Road, 12:17 p.m.

Commercial burglary: 700 block Kline Street, 5 p.m.

Residential burglary: 2500 block Via Viesta, 9:52 p.m.

May 28

Felony assault with a deadly weapon (not a firearm): 200 block Prospect Street, 7 p.m.

Felony grand theft: 8000 block Girard Avenue, 8 p.m.

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