Robbery suspects arrested in spree of thefts from vehicles in La Jolla, commercial armed robbers still at large

Three male burglary suspects were arrested Friday morning (Jan. 16) in La Jolla when they were found to be in possession of stolen property belonging to as many as eight people. Their vehicle was stopped near the intersection of La Jolla Boulevard and Sea Lane.

Sgt. Erich Bennett told La Jolla Light residents were reporting a black Honda they believed was casing the neighborhood – driving up and down streets slowly – and callers also witnessed the passengers checking for unlocked car door handles.

When the car, identified by vehicle description and license plate number, once again appeared in La Jolla that morning, residents phoned police, who pulled the vehicle over and questioned the driver and the two passengers.

“We saw there were surfboards in the car and asked if they were going surfing,” Bennett said. “When they said they were, we asked where (they were going to surf) and they couldn’t name a local surf spot or a beach in the area.”

The driver/registered owner of the vehicle gave police permission to search the car, and police found stolen property belonging to seven or eight victims, who were called to identify and collect their property. Items included surfboards, clothing, GPS navigation systems, cell phones, large amounts of change and other miscellaneous items.

The driver had a “miscellaneous” warrant out for his arrest, and was taken to jail early Jan. 16. The two passengers were also taken to jail and will be charged with several counts of robbery.

The suspects seemed to target unlocked cars, Bennett said, and advised residents to never leave their cars unlocked and never leave items of value in plain sight.

It is not known whether the thefts carried out by these suspects are related to the series of commercial robberies that have taken place in the Village over the last month.

The phone number for San Diego Police Department’s Northern Division is (858) 552-1700.