Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Vehicle burglaries on the rise

Vehicle burglaries have been on the rise over the last three months in Fallbrook, a Sheriff’s Department official says.

“They began cycling up at the end of July,” said Lt. Phil Brust, commander of the Fallbrook Sheriff’s Substation.

Brust explained that by the end of July, there were 11 cases in which items had been stolen from vehicles. “Then, in August, it really spiked and we had 31 vehicle burglaries,” he said. “We got hit really hard with that.”

As of Monday, 25 vehicle burglaries have been reported so far for the month of September.

Brust pointed out that, in the majority of incidents, valuable items had been left in full view inside the vehicle. And in many cases, the vehicles were not locked.

“The types of items that have been stolen include wallets, purses, money, credit cards, stereo equipment, global positioning systems and tools,” he explained, adding that the lure in those cases is significant for the criminal element. “These are really crimes of opportunity,” said Brust. “With things like that in plain sight, it takes a thief only a minute to decide to smash a window and get inside.”

Of the 67 vehicle burglaries that have occurred over the past 90 days, Brust said the majority have taken place on West Clemmens Lane, De Luz Road, Alturas Road, East Alvarado Street, Ammunition Road and South Stage Coach Lane.

“They have a tendency to occur near apartment complexes and take place between midnight and 2 a.m.,” said Brust.

On September 15 at about midnight, deputies arrested a man found in the area of a recent vehicle burglary. He has been charged with possession of heroin.

Brust declined to say whether the man is linked to some of the vehicle crimes, but it might be presumed he is a person of interest in the investigation.

“We are definitely looking at this suspect, but we don’t think one individual committed 67 individual burglaries,” he said.

Brust said his advice to the public is “to not leave any valuables in plain sight inside their vehicle and to lock the doors.”

“If you see a crime in progress, the best thing to do is call 9-1-1,” he advised. “We also encourage anyone who may have information on any of these burglaries to call the Sheriff’s communication center at (858) 565-5200.”

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