La Jolla crime and public safety news: Nazi symbols in Lower Hermosa; crime ring update; blotter

The staircase leading to the beach from Camino de la Costa was partially repainted after Nazi symbols were painted on it.
The staircase leading to the beach from Camino de la Costa in La Jolla was partially repainted after Nazi symbols were spray-painted on it.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Graffiti with Nazi symbols is painted over in Lower Hermosa

A set of beach access stairs near Camino de la Costa in La Jolla’s Lower Hermosa neighborhood was vandalized with Nazi symbols and the numbers “1602” spray-painted on it over the weekend.

The incident was reported to the city of San Diego via the Get It Done app and the Bird Rock Maintenance Assessment District. It also was reported to the Anti-Defamation League, which fights anti-Semitism and extremism. It wasn’t known when the graffiti was painted.

The Nazi symbols were painted over, though it wasn’t immediately clear when or whether it was by the city or a resident. The references to 1602 remained.

The staircase has been deteriorating for years, with the concrete crumbling and the rebar rusted. However, the stairs recently got the attention of the state Legislature. Last year, when California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the state’s $308 billion budget into law, $2 million was set aside to repair the staircase.

No crime ring burglaries since June, police say

Lt. Bryan Brecht of the San Diego Police Department’s Northern Division, which includes La Jolla, said at a La Jolla Town Council public safety forum Sept. 14 that there had been no local burglaries since June connected to a South American crime ring that has been active in the area since 2021.

Brecht said burglaries may increase during the fall and winter as there are more hours of darkness. But he added that such crimes also may decrease because thieves “tend to travel around the state and around the country.”

The crime ring has been connected to burglaries across La Jolla and elsewhere in San Diego County and California, as well as Tennessee, Florida and New York.

Police have said the thieves case a house to determine when the owner leaves and the home is empty. From there, they often enter through the second floor, either by scaling patio furniture or a wall. They frequently target the master bedroom and bathroom, taking jewelry that is left on counters and dressers.

Police blotter

Further details were unavailable from San Diego police.

Sept. 5

Vehicle break-in/theft: 1800 block Crespo Drive, 12:45 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft: 6900 block Country Club Drive, 9:30 a.m.

Sept. 6

Tampering with vehicle: 7600 block Hillside Drive, 9 p.m.

Sept. 9

Vehicle break-in/theft: 7400 block Girard Avenue, 4 p.m.

Felony grand theft: 300 block Midway Street, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 11

Felony assault (threatening crime with intent to terrorize): 8500 block El Paseo Grande, 2:41 p.m.

Sept. 13

Drunk in public: 500 block Coast Boulevard South, 3:57 p.m.

Felony vandalism: 2400 block Ridgegate Row, 4:50 p.m.

Sept. 14

Felony grand theft: 8600 block Via Mallorca, 3 a.m.

Felony vehicle theft: 7800 block Fay Avenue, 2:11 p.m.

Sex crime: 8600 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 6:40 p.m.

Sept. 16

Vandalism: 6000 block Camino de la Costa, noon

Drunk in public: Camino del Sol at Vallecitos, 8:41 p.m.

Driving under the influence (alcohol): 2200 block Calle Clara, 9:04 p.m.

Sept. 17

Felony purse snatching: 800 block Prospect Street, 5:56 p.m.

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