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Vehicle break-ins on upswing in La Jolla

A rash of car break-ins last week has police warning that “crooks go window-shopping too.”

From March 7 to March 9, the county’s regional justice information system (ARJIS) showed 12 vehicle break-ins were reported in La Jolla.

Alan Alvarez, the community relations officer assigned to the La Jolla area, said he didn’t have specific information on whether the incidents were linked in any way.

But he was adamant that people must be more cautious about leaving “stuff in their cars. “

“We preach and preach that people shouldn’t use their vehicles as storage lockers,” he said. “We arrest people all the time but it doesn’t stop because people keep leaving items in their cars.”

The most popular items he ticked off in a review of the 63 incidents occurring from Jan. 1, 2009 to Feb. 1, 2010 within a two-tenths of a mile radius of La Jolla Shores: cellphone, Ipod, cash, wallet, purse, watch, computer, backpack sunglasses.

“It’s ridiculous,” Alvarez said. “We put signs up reminding people not to leave things in their cars. It’s a habit — a bad habit.”

Here are the reported vehicle break-ins:

March 7

  • Via del Norte (300 block) 10 a.m.
  • Rushville St. (800 block) 1 p.m.
  • Whale Watch Way (8400 block) 4 p.m.
  • Nottingham Place (8700 block) 9 p.m.
  • Starlight Drive (7700 block) 11 p.m.

March 8

  • La Jolla Mesa Drive (5700 block) noon
  • Prospect S. (1000 block) 3:50 p.m.
  • Sugarman Drive (8500 block) 6 p.m.
  • Starlight Drive (7700 block) 8 p.m.
  • Esterel Drive (7700 block) 8 p.m.

March 9

  • Avenida Bizzaro (6600 block) 7 p.m.
  • Caminito La Benera (7000 block) 9 p.m.