Back to profile

Stories by Craig Vansant

Jewelry Store Robbed in Escondido

The Royal Maui jewelry store at the Westfield Mall on Via Rancho Parkway was robbed at about 2:30 p.m. on June 9. According to a witness at a nearby kiosk, three Causcasian men entered the ...

Angry Man Sparks Fear at San Marcos Walmart

On May 30 at about 10:00 a.m., San Marcos Walmart customers were petrified when a man raged through the store, threatening to "shoot the place up,” according to a trembling and tearful witness. She said ...

Escondido City Council Grills Finance Dept.

At the Escondido City Council meeting on May 11, councilman Ed Gallo was incredulous when staff members from the finance department asked for $264,314 to replace 12 trucks. “[T]here’s only three vehicles with over a ...

Escondido Residents Try to Save Recreational Services

Approximately 50 people — many of them angry — gathered in front of Escondido City Hall on May 4 to protest budget cuts the city council may make to recreational services. Under the proposal, popular ...

San Marcos Boulevard Ready for Improvements

At the San Marcos City Council meeting on April 26, the council voted to accept improvements made to San Marcos Boulevard as part of the city’s “Smart Corridor Project.” The project was mostly paid for ...

Vista Eases Up on Signage Regulations

The Vista Planning Commission approved an amendment to the city’s sign ordinance on April 19 that would regulate sign-spinners and commercial signs on city sports fields. In October, the city council approved a version that ...

Escondido City Council Votes to Finish Park Project

“Is that possible?” asked Ed Gallo at the Escondido City Council meeting on April 13. The councilman was referring to the $371,449 cost of expanding the office at the Escondido Sports Center in Kit Carson ...

Land-Use Rezone to Come for the Escondido Swap Meet?

On April 6, the Escondido City Council approved a general plan amendment to change the land-use designation of the Escondido Swap Meet and the Reidy Creek flood-control channel. According to officials, the purpose of the ...

Escondido Citizen Speaks Out Against Asociación de Charros

An animal-welfare advocate spoke at the Escondido City Council meeting on January 26 to lobby for the ban of Mexican rodeos, or charreadas. Melinda Santa Cruz, a longtime Escondido resident, told councilmembers she was encouraged ...

Escondido Police Cleared of Culpability in Jennifer Favreau’s Shooting Death?

A confidential source says San Diego County district attorney Bonnie Dumanis has determined that the Escondido police officer involved in the shooting death of an alleged informant will not face criminal charges. The City of ...

Escondido City Council Told Homeless Center Inadequate

At the Escondido City Council meeting of January 12, Thomas Armstrong complained that conditions at the Salvation Army's new homeless shelter on Metcalf Street were "deplorable." "The Salvation Army is not totally to blame," he ...

Slashed Girl Delivered to Palomar Hospital

Patients at Palomar Hospital were stunned on January 7 at 1:00 a.m.: a dark-haired girl about 16 years old — pale and on the verge of collapse — staggered into the emergency room with a ...

Escondido’s Water Rates to Rise

A forum to explain water-rate hikes in the City of Escondido was held on January 6. Raftelis Financial Consultants conducted a rate study of the five-year plan: a typical family bill should decrease slightly in ...

Vista Permits a Second Tattoo Shop

The Vista Planning Commission granted a special-use permit on January 4, allowing a tattoo shop to open near Thibodo Road and Watson Way. The establishment will be one of two tattoo parlors allowed in Vista...until ...

SDG&E’s Escondido Transformer Fire Nontoxic?

A massive cloud of black smoke that loomed above the Escondido Auto Park on December 22 was due to a transformer fire at SDG&E’s substation on Enterprise Street. The fire started at approximately 12:15 p.m. ...

Escondido Bomb Scare

A half hour before the Escondido City Council meeting of December 15 was set to begin, two police officer stormed the council chambers looking for a bomb. According to a witness, the officers pulled right ...

Escondido City Council Makes Way for New Ballpark

At the Escondido City Council meeting on November 17, the council voted unanimously to purchase property located at 2120 Harmony Grove Road for use as a public-works yard. The cost will be $6,050,000 plus escrow ...

Burglaries at Mountain Shadows Mobile Home Park in Escondido

In the second week of November, two units at Mountain Shadows Mobile Home Park were burglarized while residents were gone during the day. According to the manager for the park, only one street was targeted. ...

Angry Customer Breaks Door in Vista

On November 7 at about 9:30 p.m., a customer broke the glass on the front door of the Circle K store on the corner of Shadowridge Drive and Watson Way in Vista. According to a ...

Escondido City Employees Association Addresses Pay Cut with Council

At an Escondido City Council meeting on October 27, an attorney for the Escondido City Employees Association declared an impasse and urged councilmembers to send their negotiators "back to the table." Regarding recent budget cuts, ...

Coalition of Escondido Mobile/Manufactured Home Voters Activates

At the Escondido Downtown Street Faire on October 17, the Coalition of Escondido Mobile/Manufactured Home Voters was giving away free T-shirts to anyone who was willing to wear them for an hour or two. "Had ...

Escondido’s California Center for the Arts to Employ Roman de Salvo for “Grape Maze”

On October 13, the Escondido City Council authorized a payment from the City’s public art fund to allow an art project to be constructed in the California Center for the Arts Escondido Museum courtyard. According ...

Ambulances Carry Away Two Senior Citizens From Richard Dreyfuss Appearance

On October 9 at about 11 a.m., two ambulances arrived at the San Diego County Library in Encinitas after two senior citizens — who were attending a speech given by actor Richard Dreyfuss — became ...

Protestors Descend on San Diego Humane Society

On October 3, about 40 members of the San Diego Animal Defense Team gathered in front of San Diego Humane Society and SPCA to protest. According to the Animal Defense Team website, the demonstration was ...

Loose Dog in Lakeside Gets Shot by Deputy

On September 20 at 7:40 a.m., a Lakeside dog was shot and wounded when he growled and charged at a sheriff’s deputy who was responding to a hazard complaint. According to Sgt. Brent Strahm with ...

Escondido Mobile Home Park Residents Rely on Water from Hose

"Bring your own bucket," the notice said, and residents of Mountain Shadows Mobile Home Park got angry. For five days in mid-September, no water came from faucets and no toilets could be flushed due to ...

Transient Lived in Escondido Garden Shed

For several nights in August, a perplexed resident of Mountain Shadows Mobile Home Park in Escondido heard voices coming from her next-door neighbor’s coach. Whether she was out on her back porch or lying in ...

Carlsbad Teen Staggers into Traffic, Then Rescued

At around 9:00 p.m. on September 6, a delivery driver for the Pizza Hut on Cannon Road stopped for a girl who stepped off the curb against a red light. She was in her late ...

Van Doorn to Defeat Horn?

On June 3, John Van Doorn, a candidate hoping to unseat District 5 county supervisor Bill Horn, held an American flag and waved at cars from an Interstate 15 overpass in Escondido. While red-faced and ...

Real Plugger

On March 19 at about 6 p.m., an auto-theft suspect led Escondido police officers on a chase in which gunfire struck four police cars and the car of a passerby. According to a press release, ...

Moth Captured

The California Department of Food and Agriculture says the first “light brown apple moth” (Epiphyas postvittana) to appear in San Diego has been trapped in a Bonsall lemon grove. According to a press release, residents ...

RATT Roundup

As a result of “Operation Hotel California,” a six-month-long investigation, the San Diego County Grand Jury has indicted 51 defendants on charges of auto theft, selling stolen vehicles, sale of controlled substances, carjacking, residential burglary, ...

Nightmare Over?

When Craig Johnson moved to Valley Center in 1978, he could see only seven lights from the ridge on Chaparral Terrace. "Now there are hundreds," he said. On March 5, he and about 100 other ...

UCSD and TB Now

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency is working with UCSD to provide tuberculosis testing to students and faculty who may have been exposed to a student who has been diagnosed with the ...

Scratched and Jailed

Sheriff's deputies arrested a Spring Valley rape suspect on February 27 in the 500 block of Palomar Street in Chula Vista. According to a press release issued by detective Pete Carrillo, the sheriff's station in ...

Mental Help

The San Diego Superior Court has launched a new Behavioral Health Court, similar to Drug Court. The purpose of the program is to break the cycle of incarceration for San Diego's mentally ill by providing ...

Thanks, Nosy Neighbor

A nosy neighbor was responsible for the capture of two parolees who were committing a burglary on February 22, according to a sheriff's department press release. At about 2:30 p.m., a San Marcos resident saw ...

Heinous Hike

A panicked father was reunited with his son after the young man became lost approximately one mile from the eastern end of Palo Verde Lake in Alpine, according to a press release by the San ...

Attractive and Suffering

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...” In her 12th and final state of the city address, Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler quoted Charles Dickens's Tale of Two Cities to describe ...

Zapped

Because he pointed a green laser at a police helicopter, a San Diego man was sentenced to eight months in state prison on February 8. In a press release, district attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced that ...

More Than a Catfight

On February 6, two women were arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and battery at the Jumping Turtle Bar and Grill in San Marcos. According to a sheriff's department press release, deputies responded to ...

Cable, Lions, Air Are Options

At the February 3 Escondido City Council meeting, the council directed the budget subcommittee to consider the possibility of using $17 million worth of reserves in order to avoid closing the performing arts center, the ...

Sell It to the Jury

In an effort to make reporting for jury duty more enjoyable, the San Diego Superior Court has implemented a program that allows jurors to access wireless internet in the court's jury lounge at no charge. ...

Restless Residents

In a meeting at Escondido City Hall on January 26, planning commissioners voted 3-2 to deny a request allowing an auto-services development to be built on a corner near the intersection of Brotherton Road and ...

They Preyed on Their Neighbors

In an early-morning warrant sweep on January 28, about 60 detectives and county sheriff’s deputies assisted in arresting eight suspects in connection with a series of burglaries that have occurred in Santee, Lakeside, and unincorporated ...

Reservation Drugs

On January 21 at about 9 p.m., sheriff's deputies arrested a resident of the San Pasqual Reservation after a traffic stop led to the discovery of numerous types of illegal narcotics and drug paraphernalia that ...

Morning Swarm

On January 14, officers from the San Diego North County Regional Gang Task Force, the Carlsbad and Oceanside Police Departments, the San Diego County Probation Department, and the FBI awakened documented gang members at 6 ...

Teens 'n' Guns

On Tuesday, January 4, at about 11:00 p.m., El Cajon police took three young men into custody for felony vandalism. An officer reportedly became suspicious of the teens’ passenger-side window being rolled down on such ...

Help Is a Ping Away

Last week, sheriff's deputies rescued two surveyors who’d become lost while working on a Stewart Canyon landfill project. On December 30, James Plunkett, 30, and Jason Wold, 25, were placing markers in the area when, ...

Tag — You're It

According to a sheriff's press release, deputies arrested a prolific graffiti tagger at his Vista home on December 28. The 16-year-old suspect was booked into the San Diego Juvenile Detention Facility on 232 counts of ...

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close