Recent commercial robberies, residential burglaries, and purse snatchings in San Carlos, Del Cerro, and La Mesa prompted a community meeting at the San Carlos Recreation Center on Wednesday, March 25.
The hourlong meeting began at 6:30 p.m. and attracted over 300 people, including representatives from councilmember Marti Emerald’s office, two TV news crews, and representatives from the San Diego and La Mesa police departments.
SDPD assistant chief Boyd Long said, “We had 28 actual residential burglaries in this general vicinity over about a three-month span.” Several juveniles were arrested on March 5, and no similar burglaries have occurred since.
Other recent crimes described by police include a series of 12 purse snatchings in La Mesa, aggressive robberies of a local Bank of America branch, McDonald’s, and two 7-Eleven stores. An ATM was stolen from a liquor store the morning of the meeting.
Captain Long said there has been a 40 percent reduction in commercial robberies since last year. The meeting grew contentious when the police agreed to take questions. One woman who had called police when a mentally unstable woman walked into her open garage complained that it took 40 minutes for the police to respond to her call. Police say the average response time in this neighborhood is less than seven minutes.
“We can’t do this alone," said Captain Long. "We absolutely need your help."