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Stories by Bob McPhail

Rogue plumber caught in the act in Tijuana

Allegedly stealing meters and pipes

A man allegedly posing as an employee of the state water agency was arrested in Tijuana on Sunday, March 17, after one of his victims noted water spewing from a meter in front of his ...

Sheriff’s department patrols Encinitas for alcohol violators

Three hours into St. Paddy’s Day, 19 arrested

Sheriff's deputies and state Alcoholic Beverage Control agents arrested 19 people in a weekend crackdown in Encinitas. In a news release issued at 4 a.m. on Sunday, March 17, the sheriff's department said it had ...

Electrical outage affects 150,000 Baja residents

Suspected equipment thief found dead

A bizarre crime that claimed the life of an unidentified man who was apparently trying to steal electrical equipment from transmission towers east of Tijuana left the 65,000 residents of Tecate without power for more ...

Alleged wig-wearing thief captured in Tijuana

Brian accessorized, say police

Tijuana police say they arrested a man who allegedly disguised himself as a woman to steal from various businesses in the San Antonio de Los Buenos neighborhood. Officers captured 27-year-old Brian Roldán Cedillo at around ...

Bribery crackdown continues in Tijuana

Record amount of prosecutions

The longtime practice of offering Tijuana cops a little cash to buy your way out of a legal jam could now land you in jail. In a March 2 press release, the city's Department of ...

Tijuana resident finds magnetized pot parcels under car

Would have been fifth “blind mule” this year

The fifth case so far this year of a so-called "blind mule" was discovered on Thursday, February 28, in the Xicoténcatl Leyva Mortera neighborhood of Tijuana, police said in a press release. The term "blind ...

Brooms and rocks don’t settle squabble in Tijuana

Arrests made following non-payment for tortillas

A neighborhood brawl erupted Saturday, February 23, in Tijuana's Villas del Campo neighborhood after a woman swatted a child with a broom, leading to the arrest of five people. The affray began in the afternoon, ...

Would-be pimp slapped down by Tijuana police

Prostitutes threatened with violence

Police officers chased down and arrested a man on a downtown Tijuana street on Monday, February 18, after a young prostitute told them a customer had beaten and robbed her at a nearby hotel. In ...

Tijuana police catch thief — the alleged victim did it

Bank-deposit holdup never happened

Tijuana's network of downtown police cameras proved to be the downfall for a 21-year-old woman and her male accomplice after she reported she had been robbed at knifepoint outside a downtown bank while trying to ...

Alleged bus thief run over by bus in Tijuana

Driver pistol-whipped, leads to crash

Minutes after pistol-whipping a bus driver unconscious, an alleged thief was run over by the same bus he had just robbed in the Nueva Tijuana neighborhood of the city, the Tijuana daily Frontera reports. The ...

The Disobedient Father

A renegade priest who has refused to give up his Rosarito Beach parish says he has filed a criminal complaint of robbery against the archbishop of Tijuana, the Tijuana daily Frontera reports. Father Raymundo Figueroa ...

The Last Trick

Authorities have arrested three Tijuana teenagers for allegedly killing a man who refused to pay a prostitute for services, the Baja California attorney general said in a statement issued on Tuesday, October 6. Sulivan Ibarra ...

Killed for Dollars

As 18-year-old José de Jesús Lamas Herrera walked along Virgo Street on June 28 in Tijuana’s Colonia Reacomodo Sánchez Taboada, someone walked up to him, pulled out a pistol, and shot him dead. Authorities now ...

Tow Yard Tussle

A Tijuana man ended up in police custody after he allegedly went to a towing company’s impound yard on Tuesday night, September 29, and forcibly reclaimed his cherry-colored Ford. Employees of Zabad Towing said the ...

No Nonsense Padre

A priest and a sacristan fought off and subdued a would-be robber at María Madre de la Iglesia parish in Tijuana’s Colonia Jardines del Rubí neighborhood on Wednesday night, September 30, according to a municipal ...

Porn Peddler in the Parque

An alleged sex offender on the lam from California since 2007 was captured by Baja California state police early Wednesday morning, September 30, in front of Parque de la Amistad in Tijuana’s Mesa de Otay ...

Cabs vs. Coach

After more than 30 years, the Mexicoach shuttle bus to and from downtown Tijuana to San Ysidro is threatening to end service to the international border because Yellow Cab drivers in Tijuana are allegedly vandalizing ...

Home Is Where Cheap Rent Is

“The loss of employment in the United States and the impossibility of paying rents over a thousand dollars a month has prompted many families to change their residence to Tijuana, where they can pay rents ...

Gangsta Zone

At least six clubs have shuttered their doors in recent months because of Tijuana’s waning tourism business. But, according to daily newspaper El Sol de Tijuana, those bars haven’t stopped doing business. Jack Doron, president ...

Salad a Casualty

Tijuana’s Caesar's Restaurant on Avenida Revolución, reputed to be the spot where Caesar salad was invented, has closed its doors after more than 80 years in business. The Tijuana daily Frontera reported that the restaurant ...

Not an Accident

A 64-year-old grandmother is behind bars in Tijuana, accused of killing her 1-year-old granddaughter in a fit of rage by throwing the toddler down a staircase, causing fatal brain damage. According to a statement issued ...

Dog Days of Doom

Tijuana’s municipal health department has begun a citywide operation to hunt down, capture, and kill dogs found running loose on the streets in an effort to stem an outbreak of illnesses caused by the tick-borne ...

Cheap Life

A 17-year-old Tijuana boy faces up to 50 years in prison after his May 13 arrest for the alleged murder of a man who refused to lend the teen five pesos — about 38 cents. ...

Kids Shot

The number of Tijuana minors being treated for gunshot wounds -- some children as young as two years old -- has increased about 50 percent in the past few months. In interviews with two Tijuana ...

¡Choque!

Tijuana police arrested a woman on Thursday, April 9, who they say was involved in three car crashes over a distance of less than a mile. Officers remain puzzled as to why the accidents occurred. ...

Imperfect Crime

Last Saturday night, April 4, a knife-wielding teenager trying to rob a video-rental store in Tijuana’s Buena Vista neighborhood looked familiar to the store’s owner. And for good reason: the same young man had returned ...

Fistful of Pesos

Tijuana police arrested four medical students from the Autonomous University of Baja California on the afternoon of Friday, March 27, for allegedly stealing money they were supposed to be collecting for the Mexican Red Cross. ...

Saint Death Gets Plowed

Sometime during the early morning hours of Saturday, March 21, someone using an earth-moving machine plowed under a chapel to La Santa Muerte (Holy Death), the “patron saint” of a strange religious cult popular with ...

Game's End

The parents of a boy who entered an elderly neighbor’s home in the La Presa neighborhood of eastern Tijuana in search of his soccer ball ended up in jail on homicide charges after a fight ...

Baja Cop Messes Up

An off-duty Tijuana police officer, allegedly driving his green Jeep Cherokee while under the influence of alcohol and speeding, struck and killed a 37-year-old woman selling newspapers on a street corner on Monday, February 23, ...

Why Tijuana?

Better doctors, better service, better price.

Deep-Fried Quesadillas Everything was just out of reach as I lay on my left side in a bed at Tijuana's newest and most modern hospital. I had to sit up or lie down only on ...

We Built These Clinics with Our Own Hands

'The Crisis is deeper now than ever," says Father Jose Luis Mendez, referring to what Mexicans have come to call "La Crisis," the economic misfortune that has swept the country since the 1994 peso devaluation. ...

Town without Pretense

To be I.B. or not to be I.B.?

Late last week, the San Diego County Grand Jury nodded paternally toward the citizens of Imperial Beach, patted them on their heads like a good dog, and told them to heel. Many of its substantive ...

The Governance of Imperial Beach

THE GOVERNANCE OF IMPERIAL BEACH by Bob McPhail Politics in Imperial Beach is like a football game without a clock: the game is never over, there are lots of injuries, and no one ever wins. ...