According to reports and SDPD community relations officer Rene Murillo, Kensington has experienced an increase in crime from January through June, with most of the crime spiking in April and May. In this five-month span, 17 homes and 3 businesses were burglarized, there were 16 reports of larceny-theft, 8 cars stolen, 44 property crimes, and 11 car prowls.
The community has joined forces with the San Diego police to establish a patrol regimen. The patrol, modeled after a similar citizen patrol operating in the Talmadge community, should be in full operation by July 15. Residents will monitor streets within its council district boundaries, bordered by canyons to the north, El Cajon Boulevard to the south, and Fairmount Avenue and Interstate 15 to the west and east (respectively).
Thirteen residents volunteered for the patrol and, under the supervision of Officer Murillo, have undergone training, including ride-alongs with patrol officers. The volunteers will drive a car identified with “Kensington Patrol” logos. Murillo has yet to release the hours when the patrol will operate, but night shifts are scheduled.
Kensington residents are surprised by this sudden criminal activity — night and day burglaries and an influx of questionable door-to-door canvassers with ulterior motives. Following these incidents, neighbors formed “Kensington Connection,” to post information online about suspicious activities (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The increased awareness paid off in mid-June when neighbors, curious about the presence of a car parked on their street and the behavior of its owner, reported to the SDPD what they thought might be a burglary in progress at a nearby home.
According to Kensington Connection organizer Lisa Sinclair, a suspect was caught at the home, arrested, and has been in jail awaiting trial. His trial was scheduled for July 8 but postponed until July 18, when a pawnshop owner will be available to testify. SDPD believe the suspect may be involved in other neighborhood burglaries, but there is insufficient evidence to support this.