San Carlos was among the neighborhoods where residential burglaries increased during 2012, San Diego Police Department captain Andy Mills reported at the January 2 San Carlos Area Council meeting.
Mills is commanding officer for the Eastern Division, a 44-square-mile area that includes the neighborhoods of San Carlos, Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, Mission Valley, Serra Mesa and Kearny Mesa.
San Carlos is in the eastern part of the division, where residential burglaries rose from 131 in 2011 to 162 last year. Commercial burglaries in 2012 dropped by 32 percent in the western section of the division, which includes Kearny Mesa.
Mills told the San Carlos audience that most burglaries in their neighborhoods were committed during the daytime. He also spoke about AB 109, the Public Safety Realignment Act, which shifted responsibility for supervision of parolees from the state to local jurisdictions in 2011.
When Mills assumed command two years ago, he noticed a high rate of commercial burglaries in the Convoy Street area. He looked at the nature of the crimes and concluded they were probably committed by parolees or probationers because of their abilities to disarm an alarm system, case an area without being spotted, and get away.
Officer Tony Carter then created Operation Constant Crook, identifying parolees in the area and maintaining files with information such as criminal histories. Patrol officers were assigned to parolees and probationers and visited them, said Mills.
Last February, the division launched the program. Mills said Eastern Division made 74 arrests in 2011; Operation Constant Crook produced 395 arrests by the end of 2012.
He also reported that Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol (RSVP) members in December went door-to-door to distribute crime-prevention flyers and seek crime witnesses and, said Mills, "It already paid off. A person had a [surveillance] video camera with a clear picture of a suspect.”
Another division-wide success in 2012 was the recovery of 59 stolen cars, identified by members of the RSVP who used license-plate readers mounted on their patrol cars.
A woman told Mills that no one responded to her 911 call about a suspicious car parked in front of her vacationing neighbor's house. He apologized, saying, "It's not an excuse, but we're dealing with an increase in suicides and attempted suicides. One was when an officer was driving on Friars Road and someone dropped off 805."
Those incidents affect responses to other calls because of the time and resources involved, Mills said. When a man with a gun barricaded himself in a house last year, people on the scene included one officer on each side of the house, a contact person, sergeant, and a “react team” of four.
Mills said suicides and attempted suicides increased by 53 percent during 2012. He didn't have a theory about the increase. “I wish we knew,” he said.