La Jolla crime and public safety news Aug. 27-Sept. 2

Nurse gets probation for drug swapping, man robbed at knife-point by his date

Police Blotter

Aug. 12

Street Robbery, 7500 block High Avenue, 11 p.m. Five individuals were approached by five black male suspects. Four of the five suspects appeared to have been carrying firearms. The suspects ordered all the victims to give them their personal belongings. The victims complied. As the suspects fled the area they fired their weapons, which turned out to be BB guns. No one has been arrested.

Aug. 13

Motor vehicle theft, 9800 block La Jolla Farms Road, 7 p.m.

Residential burglary, 7400 block Eads Avenue, 8 p.m.

Aug. 14

Commercial burglary, 800 block Pearl Street, 1:25 a.m. Unknown suspect(s) shattered front glass door of the Unocal 76 gas station and stole empty cash drawer.

Motor vehicle theft, 5400 block Castle Hills Drive, 6 p.m.

Battery, 8800 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 7:10 p.m. Mark Stephan Auck was placed under citizen’s arrest for battery after he allegedly spit on a security guard.

Residential burglary, 5400 block Caminito Heraldo, 8:40 p.m.

Aug. 16

Vehicle break-in/theft, 2800 block Torrey Pines Road, 4 p.m.

Aug. 17

Rape, 900 block Agate Street, 1 a.m. A female, who had been drinking and took a ride from an acquaintance, states the acquaintance used his hands to assault her while driving. The victim does not wish to prosecute and refused a sexual assault response team exam.

Commercial robbery (no weapon used), 8800 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 10:20 a.m. Dennis Granato was arrested after he attempted to rob the Bank Of America.

Fraud, 7300 block Fairway Road, 4 p.m.

Fraud, 8300 block Camino Del Oro, 5:30 p.m.

Aug. 18

Vehicle break-in/theft, 100 block Gravilla Street, 8 a.m.

Residential burglary, 1200 block Muirlands Vista Way, 12 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 200 block Marine Street, 3:30 p.m.

Aug. 19

Street robbery (no weapon used), 1000 block Genter Street, 3 a.m. The victim was on a date when he was robbed at knife-point by his female date and another male suspect.

Grand theft, 5500 Bellevue Avenue, 10 p.m. An unknown suspect stole approximately $1,300 worth of surfing equipment and personal items from the roof rack of a vehicle.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 5400 block La Jolla Boulevard, 10:30 p.m.

Aug. 20

Vehicle break-in/theft, 9600 block Black Gold Road, 6 a.m.

Residential burglary, 7400 block Girard Avenue, 11:30 p.m.

Aug. 21

Vehicle break-in/theft, 7300 block High Avenue, 12:30 p.m. — Pat Sherman

To report a non-emergency crime: Contact the San Diego Police Department’s Northern Division: (858) 552-1700 or e-mail

Nurse gets probation for drug swapping

A registered nurse who worked in a La Jolla clinic was sentenced in San Diego federal court Aug. 14 to three years probation for siphoning off a painkiller from vials with syringes and refilling the bottles with saline solution.

Sarah Elizabeth Martin, 25, was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, complete 100 hours of community service, pay restitution and complete a six-month drug rehabilitation program, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Martin, who worked at La Jolla Women’s Surgery Center, removed meperidine hydrochloride, a generic form of Demerol, and then replaced the drug with saline solution, gluing the caps back on and storing the vials with other drugs to be administered to patients, according to her plea agreement.

The saline solution was given to an estimated 50 to 250 patients, although the investigation showed no patients were harmed, prosecutors said. Martin admitted she’d become addicted to the pain medication following treatment for a medical condition, authorities said.

Sherriff issues alert: 
Jury duty/warrant scams

The Sheriff’s Department reports that fraudsters continue to target San Diegans, especially seniors, with the jury duty and warrant scams. Depuites advise residents to be aware of someone pretending to be a Sheriff’s Department employee. To sound believable, the caller will use a real employee’s name or Sheriff’s Department telephone number that can be found online. Callers also use Caller ID “spoofing,” which makes it appear as though the call is coming from a Sheriff’s Station or court offices.

The caller will try to intimidate and as a scare tactic say: “You failed to show up for jury duty. Pay up or you will be arrested!” or “You have a warrant out for your arrest. Pay up or you will end up in jail!”

These scams play on fears so in a panic, people end up giving personal information or money to diffuse the situation. If you receive a phone call and someone is asking for money, STOP! It is a scam!

FACT: No employee of the Sheriff’s Department will ever contact members of the public by telephone to demand money or any other form of payment. If you get this type of call, hang up IMMEDIATELY.

FACT: Outstanding warrants cannot be resolved over the phone. Warrants can only be cleared through the court. People with outstanding warrants may turn themselves in during business hours Monday-Friday at any Sheriff’s Court Facilities. For more details or to check if you have an outstanding warrant, visit

Confirm jury service by calling the Superior Court of California at (619) 450-5757, press 0 to talk to someone.

Del Mar man hospitalized 
with West Nile Virus

A 73-year-old Del Mar man was confirmed Aug. 24 as the year’s first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in San Diego.

The man was admitted to a hospital Aug. 2 with symptoms of encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain that can be caused by viral or bacterial infection, and remains hospitalized, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). The agency said testing by a state lab confirmed late last week that he has WNV Last year, 11 local WNV cases were diagnosed, and two of the patients died.

Health officials said that around 80 percent of the people with WNV, which is spread by mosquitoes, don’t get symptoms, while the remainder will have headaches, fever, nausea, fatigue, a skin rash or swollen glands.

Around 1 in 150 cases are life-threatening, and the risk goes up for patients over age 50, according to the HHSA.

“The late summer is when we expect West Nile virus to peak, and there were cases diagnosed through October last year, so people need to protect themselves from this potentially deadly disease,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county public health officer.

The best protection is to empty out areas of standing water where mosquitoes breed, staying indoors at dusk and dawn when the insects are most active, and wearing long sleeves and pants or use repellent when outdoors.

County officials also urged residents to contact their vector control program when they find dead birds or green swimming pools, by calling (858) 694- 2888 or e-mailing

So far this year, the county has collected 95 dead birds and 18 batches of mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile. The totals for all of last year were 41 dead birds and six mosquito batches.

— City News Service