Sheriff's deputies and transit police swarmed a trolley stop in Lemon Grove on Friday evening, July 11, contacting 3330 people and arresting 53.
According to Lt. Chris May, the sweep, dubbed "Operation Lemon Drop," was a means of contacting prolific offenders. Using trolley-fare enforcement as a reason to approach passengers, those failing to pay were detained while their names were run to check for arrest warrants, connections to crime investigations, or probation violations.
The arrests were made between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m., with another 119 citations issued for trolley-fare violations. Per Lt. May, a majority of the arrestees were classified as "realigned offenders," mostly non-violent criminals whose supervision responsibilities have been transferred from the state to the local level as a result of a court-ordered population reduction in California's overcrowded prison system.