Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Burglary victim leads cops to crooks

“I was kind of dragging the police along behind me.”

Burglars with cops outside hotel
Burglars with cops outside hotel

Following a round of burglaries at his University Heights apartment complex, Andy Boyd (a Reader employee) was able to recover his stolen computer and tablet, along with his neighbor’s stolen car. Still, thousands of dollars’ worth of other heisted loot seems to have slipped through the fingers of the police officers whom Boyd led right to the perpetrators.

“My experience with police and stolen stuff is that they don’t really care: once it’s stolen, it’s gone,” says Andy Boyd.

Boyd spent a Saturday night in mid-December with his girlfriend before returning home to minor chaos. “I come home on Sunday morning, and there’s a police officer out front, so immediately things are a little weird. As soon as I walked into my place I saw drawers, closet doors open, and it was, like, Okay, someone’s broken in here,” Boyd explains. “So I go down and ask an Officer Mendoza, who’s taking a report at my neighbor’s, if there’s been a burglary — yeah? Well I’ve got another one for you.”

It’s believed that the break-ins were of the “hot prowl” type, a particularly aggressive crime meaning thieves entered knowing or believing that the occupants of the apartments were home.

“They didn’t go into the bedrooms — I know because my safe was untouched,” Boyd continued. “My neighbors were home when their place got burgled, but they didn’t get woken up.”

The total haul from Boyd’s unit included an iPad, a work-issued laptop, several motorcycle and car keys, and about $6000 worth of high-end camera gear. His neighbor also lost a laptop and some car keys, but in this case the keys were used to locate and steal the neighbor’s car.

Boyd’s laptop sent out location data when it was turned on.

A copy of the incident report provided by Boyd instructs the responding officer to attempt to obtain fingerprints, or explain why an attempt was not made. Likewise, the officer is instructed to survey the scene for evidence or explain why an investigation wasn’t performed. Both tasks had an “N” ticked inquiring whether they were completed, with no further comments. A later comment section in the report notes that Boyd had activated tracking software on his Apple devices and would contact police if and when he got a location on his missing gear.

The laptop finally ended up at the Quality Suites hotel on Hotel Circle.

It didn’t take long for that to happen.

“About 10:00 that night, I got a notification on my phone that my MacBook’s been powered on, and there’s a GPS location,” Boyd continues. “So I check out where it is — if it had been in Mexico or Carlsbad I wouldn’t have bothered, but this is a hotel a half-mile away. That was enough for me to want to go check it out.”

The GPS image Boyd shares is remarkably specific, down to the corner and even floor elevation — room 351 of the Quality Suites near the west end of Mission Valley’s Hotel Circle.

Upon arrival, hotel staff were unable to provide Boyd with any information on the room’s occupants, so he vowed to return with police in the morning. On the way out of the lot, however, he spied a car that looked convincingly like the one that had just been stolen from his neighbor. On a hunch, he made a phone call to the neighbor.

“He goes down there, finds the car, so we’ve got that back. We call AAA and they show up, the police show up, we get some paperwork done to signify this is no longer a stolen vehicle,” Boyd says. “But the burglars still have the keys, so we can’t just park it where it was — the burglars can just come back and steal the car again. Instead we’ve got to stash it a couple blocks away, but now he’s going to have to have his car completely re-keyed — they also got my car keys and two of my motorcycle keys, so that’s going to be really annoying.”

First thing Monday morning, Boyd was back on the case.

“I’m up early and calling police dispatch in the Western Division, where a detective has my case. He’s not in yet, so I ask them if it would be a dumb idea to go back down there myself.

Yes, it would be, they told Boyd.

“My experience with police and stolen stuff is that they don’t really care: once it’s stolen, it’s gone,” Boyd laments. Statistics bear out his theory, with 3.41 burglaries per 1000 San Diegans reported in 2016, but the national arrest rate is just 0.64 per 1000 for this crime type. “That was sort of the vibe I got from the detective once he comes in on Monday morning; the case is on his desk but he hasn’t really gotten a chance to look at it yet. I reach him the second he walks in the office and tell him here’s the deal — I know where these guys are, I’m going down there.

“He tells me, ‘No, don’t do that,’ but I tell him I’m going down anyway, you might want to meet me there. So he goes down and meets me, but it’s almost like he didn’t expect to see me there waiting in the lobby when he and his partner show up.”

Even after successfully arranging a meeting with his detective, dumb luck may have played the biggest role in Boyd making a partial recovery of his property.

“We’re talking in the lobby and not even 30 seconds later three guys walk by, one of them wearing a backpack they took from me. The detective and his partner follow them out, detain all three of them, and search their stuff. My backpack had my iPad in it, my laptop, another laptop that we didn’t identify, and in his pocket were my neighbor’s car keys.

“The guy with all this stuff on him was arrested for possession of stolen property; the other two guys just got let go. The police went up to the hotel room and knocked on the door. There was somebody there but they didn’t go in. There’s no doubt in my mind the rest of my stuff was in that hotel room. I don’t know what probable cause is, but I’d think a guy coming out of that room with half my stuff ought to count.”

A police media services officer informed the Reader that because an arrest had been made the department would be unable to comment on specifics of the case. An initial offer to provide a broader interview discussing investigative procedures and establishment of probable cause never materialized.

Returning to the initial police report prepared at the scene of the crime, it concludes: “Evidence: None. Injuries: None. Property Damage: None. Follow-up: None.”

“I felt the whole time like I was kind of dragging the police along behind me, going ‘Come on, can we please maybe try to catch these guys?’”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

A hashtag is not sufficient this week

Why are we are surprised when our culture throws up chaos and violence?
Next Article

San Diego's deadliest parks

Baldarrama, Balboa, Chicano, Kate Sessions, Kelly, Lindbergh, Libby Lake, Linda Vista, Southcrest
Comments
4

Typical SDPD copout.

Jan. 17, 2018

From personal experience, I know the SDPD's mantra is, "I hope you don't expect us to catch who did this." In no other line of work would it ever be acceptable to cheerfully disavow having to do one's job. Remember this the next time they tell you those in the 'thin blue line' have the most dangerous job (they don't) or deserve to be able to retire at age 50.

Jan. 17, 2018

The city's stock reply is that the department is understaffed and isn't paying enough to keep good cops.

Jan. 17, 2018

I understand that's what they say, and that they mean it as an excuse. But again, in what line of work would the complaint that one is "overworked and underpaid" (which is basically every occupation in America) be accepted for not doing anything except clocking in?

Jan. 17, 2018

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Burglars with cops outside hotel
Burglars with cops outside hotel

Following a round of burglaries at his University Heights apartment complex, Andy Boyd (a Reader employee) was able to recover his stolen computer and tablet, along with his neighbor’s stolen car. Still, thousands of dollars’ worth of other heisted loot seems to have slipped through the fingers of the police officers whom Boyd led right to the perpetrators.

“My experience with police and stolen stuff is that they don’t really care: once it’s stolen, it’s gone,” says Andy Boyd.

Boyd spent a Saturday night in mid-December with his girlfriend before returning home to minor chaos. “I come home on Sunday morning, and there’s a police officer out front, so immediately things are a little weird. As soon as I walked into my place I saw drawers, closet doors open, and it was, like, Okay, someone’s broken in here,” Boyd explains. “So I go down and ask an Officer Mendoza, who’s taking a report at my neighbor’s, if there’s been a burglary — yeah? Well I’ve got another one for you.”

It’s believed that the break-ins were of the “hot prowl” type, a particularly aggressive crime meaning thieves entered knowing or believing that the occupants of the apartments were home.

“They didn’t go into the bedrooms — I know because my safe was untouched,” Boyd continued. “My neighbors were home when their place got burgled, but they didn’t get woken up.”

The total haul from Boyd’s unit included an iPad, a work-issued laptop, several motorcycle and car keys, and about $6000 worth of high-end camera gear. His neighbor also lost a laptop and some car keys, but in this case the keys were used to locate and steal the neighbor’s car.

Boyd’s laptop sent out location data when it was turned on.

A copy of the incident report provided by Boyd instructs the responding officer to attempt to obtain fingerprints, or explain why an attempt was not made. Likewise, the officer is instructed to survey the scene for evidence or explain why an investigation wasn’t performed. Both tasks had an “N” ticked inquiring whether they were completed, with no further comments. A later comment section in the report notes that Boyd had activated tracking software on his Apple devices and would contact police if and when he got a location on his missing gear.

The laptop finally ended up at the Quality Suites hotel on Hotel Circle.

It didn’t take long for that to happen.

“About 10:00 that night, I got a notification on my phone that my MacBook’s been powered on, and there’s a GPS location,” Boyd continues. “So I check out where it is — if it had been in Mexico or Carlsbad I wouldn’t have bothered, but this is a hotel a half-mile away. That was enough for me to want to go check it out.”

The GPS image Boyd shares is remarkably specific, down to the corner and even floor elevation — room 351 of the Quality Suites near the west end of Mission Valley’s Hotel Circle.

Upon arrival, hotel staff were unable to provide Boyd with any information on the room’s occupants, so he vowed to return with police in the morning. On the way out of the lot, however, he spied a car that looked convincingly like the one that had just been stolen from his neighbor. On a hunch, he made a phone call to the neighbor.

“He goes down there, finds the car, so we’ve got that back. We call AAA and they show up, the police show up, we get some paperwork done to signify this is no longer a stolen vehicle,” Boyd says. “But the burglars still have the keys, so we can’t just park it where it was — the burglars can just come back and steal the car again. Instead we’ve got to stash it a couple blocks away, but now he’s going to have to have his car completely re-keyed — they also got my car keys and two of my motorcycle keys, so that’s going to be really annoying.”

First thing Monday morning, Boyd was back on the case.

“I’m up early and calling police dispatch in the Western Division, where a detective has my case. He’s not in yet, so I ask them if it would be a dumb idea to go back down there myself.

Yes, it would be, they told Boyd.

“My experience with police and stolen stuff is that they don’t really care: once it’s stolen, it’s gone,” Boyd laments. Statistics bear out his theory, with 3.41 burglaries per 1000 San Diegans reported in 2016, but the national arrest rate is just 0.64 per 1000 for this crime type. “That was sort of the vibe I got from the detective once he comes in on Monday morning; the case is on his desk but he hasn’t really gotten a chance to look at it yet. I reach him the second he walks in the office and tell him here’s the deal — I know where these guys are, I’m going down there.

“He tells me, ‘No, don’t do that,’ but I tell him I’m going down anyway, you might want to meet me there. So he goes down and meets me, but it’s almost like he didn’t expect to see me there waiting in the lobby when he and his partner show up.”

Even after successfully arranging a meeting with his detective, dumb luck may have played the biggest role in Boyd making a partial recovery of his property.

“We’re talking in the lobby and not even 30 seconds later three guys walk by, one of them wearing a backpack they took from me. The detective and his partner follow them out, detain all three of them, and search their stuff. My backpack had my iPad in it, my laptop, another laptop that we didn’t identify, and in his pocket were my neighbor’s car keys.

“The guy with all this stuff on him was arrested for possession of stolen property; the other two guys just got let go. The police went up to the hotel room and knocked on the door. There was somebody there but they didn’t go in. There’s no doubt in my mind the rest of my stuff was in that hotel room. I don’t know what probable cause is, but I’d think a guy coming out of that room with half my stuff ought to count.”

A police media services officer informed the Reader that because an arrest had been made the department would be unable to comment on specifics of the case. An initial offer to provide a broader interview discussing investigative procedures and establishment of probable cause never materialized.

Returning to the initial police report prepared at the scene of the crime, it concludes: “Evidence: None. Injuries: None. Property Damage: None. Follow-up: None.”

“I felt the whole time like I was kind of dragging the police along behind me, going ‘Come on, can we please maybe try to catch these guys?’”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Why settle for the penthouse? Buy the whole building.

Comes with an extra 17 rental units on the lower floors
Next Article

Working Man: Blue collar blues

What happens when an employee doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit?
Comments
4

Typical SDPD copout.

Jan. 17, 2018

From personal experience, I know the SDPD's mantra is, "I hope you don't expect us to catch who did this." In no other line of work would it ever be acceptable to cheerfully disavow having to do one's job. Remember this the next time they tell you those in the 'thin blue line' have the most dangerous job (they don't) or deserve to be able to retire at age 50.

Jan. 17, 2018

The city's stock reply is that the department is understaffed and isn't paying enough to keep good cops.

Jan. 17, 2018

I understand that's what they say, and that they mean it as an excuse. But again, in what line of work would the complaint that one is "overworked and underpaid" (which is basically every occupation in America) be accepted for not doing anything except clocking in?

Jan. 17, 2018

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close