At the March 6 San Carlos Area Council meeting, San Diego district attorney Bonnie Dumanis asked if anyone in the audience was the victim of identity theft. One woman raised her hand; another said, "A little."
Dumanis said identity-theft victims included her mother and people in her office. She added, "A criminal signed my name on a good check. I give him credit for a sense of humor."
She recommended shredding and cross-shredding "anything with personal information." Cross-shred because "methamphetamine addicts put together" the pieces, she said.
The DA also spoke about human trafficking: “We're seeing gangs involved in organized prostitution," she said. "Opposing gangs are putting aside their differences to make money." Gang members go to high schools to recruit, so Dumanis advised the audience to have "conversations with their kids" and "watch who they're with."
Dumanis said that her office handles 40,000 cases annually and has a 94 percent conviction rate. Of those cases, 97 percent involve people who plead guilty without going to court; that led a woman named Sandy to ask about safeguards for people who weren't guilty.
The DA described a procedure that included asking the person, "Are you on medication?" and "Do you want to change your plea?"
She also spoke about the three-strikes law that voters modified last November. Dumanis said her office "pulled all the cases in San Diego" and found a 1996 case involving a man "who had some tools and served 16 years." After he was released, Dumanis said her office "made sure" that he received services to help with re-entry into society. "This guy didn't know about cell phones," she said.
Dumanis and a liaison for 53rd District congresswoman Susan Davis asked the audience to “like” them on Facebook.