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Hot prowl burglaries heat up Obecians

"Travelers" and homeless people implicated as suspects

In light of the recent seven hot-prowl burglaries in the Ocean Beach community, over 60 people showed up to voice their concerns and offer solutions at what was billed as a “community discussion.” The organizers of the event have a Facebook page called OB Crime Watch with over 3000 members on it. On January 21, they gathered in a retail space on Niagara Avenue to plan and bring their findings to the O.B. Town Council meeting next Wednesday, January 28.

In all of these crimes, doors were left unlocked and the burglars walked right in.

One of the meeting organizers, Denise Benderman, said, "Because of the influx of crime and the more criminal of the travelers being disrespectful, we will be presenting solutions at the council meeting next week. We do feel it's getting worse."

Another organizer, Sara Wind, said, "We want to focus on solutions so we can get back to enjoying our community and not just bitch about it."

San Diego police officer David Surwilo addressed the crowd and told them, "One of the simplest solutions is to just lock your doors and windows. We're not saying you have to live scared, but use common sense." When asked what “hot prowl” means, he said, "You're home, we're sneaking in."

Moondoggie, the crossing guard for Ocean Beach Elementary School, said, "We're there every morning and run the homeless off each day who hang around the school. We need groups patrolling and rousting them."

Clayton, a local musician who also has a family, talked about the burglary of his home last week, during which they stole his laptop. His solution? "Know your neighbors. It does help to watch out for each other."

Several solutions were offered by the attendees. "Ask your landlord to make improvements like putting up more lights around the place." Another said, "Take pictures of suspicious people and then call the police. It scares them off." Another person said, "We need to communicate with each other better."

O.B. Town Council president Gretchen Newsom said, "Your district council person, Lori Zapf, will be at our meeting next week. Come and express your concerns."

(corrected 1/23, 7:10 a.m.)

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In light of the recent seven hot-prowl burglaries in the Ocean Beach community, over 60 people showed up to voice their concerns and offer solutions at what was billed as a “community discussion.” The organizers of the event have a Facebook page called OB Crime Watch with over 3000 members on it. On January 21, they gathered in a retail space on Niagara Avenue to plan and bring their findings to the O.B. Town Council meeting next Wednesday, January 28.

In all of these crimes, doors were left unlocked and the burglars walked right in.

One of the meeting organizers, Denise Benderman, said, "Because of the influx of crime and the more criminal of the travelers being disrespectful, we will be presenting solutions at the council meeting next week. We do feel it's getting worse."

Another organizer, Sara Wind, said, "We want to focus on solutions so we can get back to enjoying our community and not just bitch about it."

San Diego police officer David Surwilo addressed the crowd and told them, "One of the simplest solutions is to just lock your doors and windows. We're not saying you have to live scared, but use common sense." When asked what “hot prowl” means, he said, "You're home, we're sneaking in."

Moondoggie, the crossing guard for Ocean Beach Elementary School, said, "We're there every morning and run the homeless off each day who hang around the school. We need groups patrolling and rousting them."

Clayton, a local musician who also has a family, talked about the burglary of his home last week, during which they stole his laptop. His solution? "Know your neighbors. It does help to watch out for each other."

Several solutions were offered by the attendees. "Ask your landlord to make improvements like putting up more lights around the place." Another said, "Take pictures of suspicious people and then call the police. It scares them off." Another person said, "We need to communicate with each other better."

O.B. Town Council president Gretchen Newsom said, "Your district council person, Lori Zapf, will be at our meeting next week. Come and express your concerns."

(corrected 1/23, 7:10 a.m.)

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