Widder Curry Asks: ‘What kind of a neighbor are you?’ as Burglaries Plague Sunset Cliffs Neighborhood

by on June 4, 2015 · 6 comments

in Culture, Ocean Beach, The Widder Curry

Sunset Cliffs neighbrhd mapWhat do these streets all have in common?  Pescadero Drive; Adair Street; Tivoli St.; Granger St; Osprey St.; and Trieste?   Need another clue?  With the exception of Trieste, all are in the 4500-4600 blocks. Still need help?  Let me tell you then.

Since May 1st, five homes on these blocks have been broken into and items taken.

Some have been broken into during the day; some of been broken into at night.  Some have been locked up; some have had unlocked windows.  Some have had dogs; some have not.

What’s been taken?

Jewelry from all of these places; guitars; bikes; lamps (!) (Just to set the record straight there was also a break-in on Cordova during this time, but it is not thought to be connected to these break-ins.)

One place had a 10 foot fence surrounding their property. It was scaled and a screen was taken off the window for entry.  The burglars had so much time that they replaced the screen when they left.  It is hard to say what time this occurred, but it is estimated it happened sometime between 3:30pm and 10:00pm.

In another of the robberies the pillow case was taken off the pillow and the jewelry was placed in the case for an easy haul.  In still another situation a tire iron was used for entry.

There have been few, if any, clues left by the people that have vandalized these residences. Is it being done by one person? An organized group?

The police can’t say because of the lack of clues. But it is interesting for me to note that we have had many, many people come watch the sunsets along the Cliffs in the past few months.  Almost all of these homes are a block or two from the Cliffs. Coincidence? Maybe.  Maybe not.  It doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that no one has alerted the police to strangers or suspicious people in the area.  Does that mean, perhaps, that the thief (s) might even live in the neighborhood?

I am a member of “Next Door”.  If you are not familiar with this organization check out their website.

This is an organization comprised of the neighbors in your area. (This one happens to be Sunset Cliffs/Ocean Beach.)  There is no advertising.  We alert neighbors to happenings in the area; have items for sale; look for service personnel; lost lost animals, etc. When I heard about the latest break-in on Tivoli – my street – and could not find out any information about it except what I read on the Crime Report – I wrote the following to “Next Door.”

As a reporter for the OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press, I am sometimes called “insensitive”; sometimes called “trouble maker”; and probably called many other things too. However, at this moment I am irked at our neighborhood.

I receive the crime report for our area on a daily basis. Two days ago there was mention of a burglary in the 4600 block of Tivoli. I live in the 4600 block of Tivoli and I wanted to know where, how, who, etc.

After talking to some of the neighbors, I was told it was a “false alarm.” Someone keyed in the wrong security code and it triggered a call to police. That may be true. But….there WAS a burglary in the 4600 block of Tivoli two days ago and the people that had the robbery do not want to have it posted on this site. Too bad. It is already posted on the crime report, and I PERSONALLY think that knowing that a robbery occurred is a safety factor for all of us.

I heard that a window was broken into and that is how entry was achieved. I also know who the residents are – no, my reporter ethics will not let me mention their name – BUT we should be aware of what has happened and be even more aware of the strangers on the street. That’s all I know – but I also know I do not feel as safe as I did three days ago – but we, the “hood” need to be made of aware of what is going on to be a true neighborhood “Nextdoor.”

I have had many private responses to this message.  We are not as safe as we were a few years ago. Just as I am typing this a woman called – lives on Adair – and told me she was broken into two times in the past three months.  There is a call for another “Neighborhood Watch” program and even someone that is willing to lead it.

I think that I am aware of the people on our street; have snapped pictures of people I have never seen before “just in case.” I have copied down license plate numbers as well as taking pictures of “strange” cars. I do not think that anything I have done has thwarted a robbery but … maybe.

With that in mind I called Officer David Surwilo and asked him his thoughts on the subject.  He verified for me that the break-ins I mentioned above were true; he also said that there have been few clues to go by as far as apprehending the thief (s).

But he asked me to remind people to

(1) always lock your door – even if you are home.  If you go out to walk the dog and will be back in 2 minutes, LOCK the door. There may be people watching neighborhoods to see when a house is empty.

(2) When you are gone close and lock your windows.  That same thief that is looking to see if you are home will be checking for unlocked windows.

(3) Do not open your house to someone you do not know without making sure they have all the necessary credentials/ identification.  Even if a person is dressed in an authentic service uniform they may not be who they say there are.

And perhaps the most important thing that he said was that “ . . . .we should all look out for each other.”  If you are suspicious of someone in the neighborhood, make the call to the police department – 619-531-2000.  If there is an immediate suspicion, call 911.  Don’t hesitate!  You may become the savior of the neighborhood!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna June 4, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Thank you for sharing. I also live on Tivoli and did not know about these break-ins until this article. I just joined NextDoor. I agree let’s form a Neighborhood Watch and keep an eye out for the troublemakers.


Chris Bowd June 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm

SDPD really need to get some extra staff on the non-emergency dispatch number. the last couple times I’ve called, the wait time was 25 to 30 min. The reason I called last was I needed an officer to deal with a car parked in front of my garage. I needed to go to work. The reason I stayed on the line? I couldn’t go to work! Dispatch called back 1/2 hour later and I was told no patrols were available. The car was gone by then, anyway. Next time I’m just calling the tow company. They likely have more to gain… Oh regarding 911? I’ve called them to get on an unruly “traveller” and was asked “Is anyone hurt?”. My reply: “No but someone’s about to get hurt”, Response: SORRY, THAT’S NOT AN EMERGENCY?!?!?!? I respect and appreciate the police and all, but sometimes they seem a little, ummmm… inefficient.


Debra June 4, 2015 at 3:02 pm

I’ve had at least $500 of items stolen, first from my front yard, then off of my car, once I installed a fence, over the past 2yrs. It’s pretty OBVIOUS to me, considering one of the things stolen, was a POTTED PLANT, that it is a neighbor and NOT a homeless person/traveler, (as I initially thought), who is responsible. REAL NICE.


MiDo June 4, 2015 at 4:20 pm

Thanks Judy for your insight and vigilance.
We all need to do a better job at looking out for one another.


obkatforever June 5, 2015 at 7:40 pm

I live in the 4700 brighton hood closer to sunset cliffs. I was told today that the monstrosity being built at 4766 brighton was vandalized. Apparently, the owner was there yesterday and spoke to another neighbor; said he was installing cameras because the interior was vandalized. Not sure when it happened, but workers are there every day but Sunday and I doubt he would have waited too long.


Debbie June 6, 2015 at 8:28 am

Does anyone have surveillance cameras to share information with the police?

Also, this was on crimemapping.com today:
BATTERY ON PERSON – 4400 BLOCK GRANGER STREET San Diego Police 6/5/2015 3:20:00 PM


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