Julie Stalmer 6:30 p.m., July 23
Unlicensed Magazine Peddler Steals Diamond Bracelet
La Mesa Police arrested 23 year-old Courtney Townsend of San Diego for residential burglary Sunday night.
Townsend was with a group of solicitors doing unlicensed door-to-door magazine sales when she and a second solicitor knocked on a door and asked a woman at a residence on the 5600 block of Amaya Drive to use the restroom. Shortly after they left, the victim realized a $900 diamond bracelet had been stolen from her bathroom and contacted police.
A short time later, police found the solicitors still canvassing the area. Townsend, matching the description of the subject was stopped for questioning and it was discovered she had a felony arrest warrant for burglary.
Townsend was arrested on the warrant, and during a search, the missing bracelet was discovered hidden in her pants. She was booked into County Jail for residential burglary, the existing burglary warrant, and for falsely identifying herself to officers.
Police are reminding La Mesa residents that solicitation without a permit is illegal in the city. Anyone contacted by an independent salesperson or someone seeking donations should ask to see their La Mesa solicitation permit, cease contact, and report the individual to police at 619-667-1400. Criminals in the past have been known to use solicitation as a ruse to determine if anyone is home at a residence or to gain access for the purpose of committing a crime.