La Jolla crime and public safety news: House fire; fraud sentence; drive-overs; 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.

House fire causes $350,000 in damage

No one was hurt in a La Jolla house fire that caused about $350,000 in damage the afternoon of June 11, authorities said.

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department crews arrived around 3:50 p.m. at the two-story house at 827 Muirlands Vista Way to find smoke and flames coming from the attached garage and a car on fire, said department spokeswoman Monica Munoz. “They were able to stop the fire before it did extensive damage to the house, but the first floor did sustain some damage.”

Estimated damage was $250,000 to the structure and $100,000 to the contents. The SDFD Metro Arson Strike Team is investigating, though the cause of the fire had not yet been determined.

Ex-Chabad at UCSD director sentenced to probation in donation fraud scheme

The former director of Chabad at UC San Diego was sentenced June 10 to three years’ probation for his role in a scheme that defrauded Qualcomm’s donation matching program.

Rabbi Yehuda Hadjadj of La Jolla pleaded guilty Jan. 26 to a count of federal conspiracy to commit wire fraud. As part of his plea, he admitted to getting three people to make fake donations to Friendship Circle, a non-sectarian organization run by former Chabad of Poway rabbi Yisroel Goldstein.

Chabad at UCSD could not receive corporate matching funds from Qualcomm, since its matching program excluded sectarian or denominational religious groups. To hide that Chabad at UCSD would be receiving the funds, Hadjadj told donors to write checks to Friendship Circle, then returned all or most of the contributions in cash to the donors, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Donors would then ask Qualcomm to match their donation. Prosecutors say Goldstein sent about two-thirds of the matched funds to Hadjadj and kept the remainder.

Hadjadj secured nearly $40,000 for Chabad at UCSD over the course of the scheme, prosecutors said.

The scheme was part of a larger series of fraudulent activities orchestrated by Goldstein, who was sentenced earlier this year to 14 months in prison.

Hadjadj and Goldstein are among nearly a dozen people who have pleaded guilty in connection with the investigation. — City News Service

Drive-overs continue in Bird Rock

A series of property drive-overs in Bird Rock that started in April continued into May.

Maintenance Assessment District representative Barbara Dunbar said at the June 7 Bird Rock Community Council meeting that an overnight hit-and-run at the corner of La Jolla Boulevard and Colima Street on May 22 damaged plants and knocked out a panel of a guardrail.

“We are noting increased drive-overs and accidents again in May, which is an uptick from what we saw in April,” Dunbar said. “This includes a fender-bender at Midway [Street] that occurred when a driver stopped for a pedestrian and was hit by someone exiting the roundabout.”

An overnight incident April 9 at the corner of Camino de la Costa and La Jolla Boulevard damaged plants and irrigation valves. During another drive-over, a large branch was knocked off a tree and other damage was reported.

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 June 4, ZIP code 92037 (estimated population 43,400) had a total of 6,314 registered cases (up by 120 from the previous count) and 14,587 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 June 8, 40,844 residents of the 92037 ZIP code had received at least one dose, 36,031 were considered fully vaccinated and 23,207 were fully vaccinated and had received a booster dose.

Police blotter

Further details were unavailable from San Diego police.

May 29

Commercial burglary: 500 block Carla Way, 6:30 p.m.

June 2

Residential burglary: 2400 block Via Viesta, 2 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft: 6900 block Neptune Place, 5 p.m.

June 3

Vehicle break-in/theft: 8300 block Camino del Oro, 5:51 a.m.

June 4

Commercial burglary: 7600 block La Jolla Boulevard, 12:18 a.m.

Petty theft: 2200 block Vallecitos, 10 p.m.

June 6

Residential burglary: 900 block Agate Street, 12:01 a.m.

Possession of a controlled substance: 2800 block Torrey Pines Road, 7:48 p.m.

June 7

Vehicle break-in/theft: 6600 block Michaeljohn Drive, 1:12 a.m.

Drunk in public: 400 block Fern Glen, 10:32 a.m.

June 8

Vandalism: 6000 block Beaumont Avenue, 3 a.m.

Fraud: 8700 block Caminito Sueno, 8:40 a.m.

Felony vandalism: 2300 block Torrey Pines Road, 11:23 a.m.

June 9

Residential burglary: 600 block Wrelton Drive, 11:50 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft: 2000 block Spindrift Drive, 1:20 p.m.

Felony grand theft: 9300 block Discovery Way, 8:30 p.m.

June 11

Use/under the influence of a controlled substance: 600 block Wrelton Drive, 10:42 a.m.

Driving under the influence (drugs): 8200 block La Jolla Shores Drive, 11:55 p.m.

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