RANCHO SANTA FE — Four Escondido residents were arrested on suspicion of burglary and felony vandalism after they were found recently inside a Rancho Santa Fe home in broad daylight.
Taken into custody were Bret Cueva, 21; Rocky Trinidad, 18; Susana Jimenez, 21; and a juvenile deputies did not name because of his age, said Detective Matt Mays of the Encinitas substation of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
All of the suspects attempted to run away from officers, but three were stopped as they exited the back door. Cueva ran about 100 yards before being run down and captured by Deputy Justin Cheney, Mays said.
The felony vandalism charge was a result of the suspects spraying graffiti inside the house, he said.
He said the house was uninhabited at the time of the burglary. The amount of damage is estimated at more than $5,000.
Mays said deputies are investigating to determine whether the four are responsible for the recent spate of burglaries in Rancho Santa Fe.
The most recent burglary occurred in the 17100 block of Calle Corte. The Rancho Santa Fe Patrol was notified of a burglary in progress at 9:08 a.m. Jan. 14, said Rancho Santa Fe Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser.
“Upon arrival, the Rancho Santa Fe officer determined there were several suspects in the house and notified the sheriff’s department,” Wellhouser said.
The patrol and sheriff’s deputies surrounded the house and made the arrests.
“Property taken from the house, mostly electronics, were recovered,” he said.
Wellhouser said there had been an increase of burglaries over the past year.
“In most of our cases, the suspects have easy access to the houses through unlocked doors,” he said. “To make it worse, the alarms are not being turned on.”
Other recent burglaries include two cases in the 6900 block of La Valle Plateada on Jan. 10; the 6100 block of La Granada on Jan. 3; the 16400 block of La Via Feliz on Dec. 22; the 5400 block of Mariposa on Dec. 16; and the 5900 block of El Montevideo on Dec. 9.
“Don’t be a victim,” Wellhouser said. “Lock up the house, even if you leave for five minutes. Turn on your alarm system. Don’t leave valuables out. Lock them up. Put the jewelry in the safe. We have found that it takes just seconds for these crooks to accomplish the burglary. Make sure your door locks work. Test them. Open windows are not a good idea, just a push with your hand and the screen pops out.
“It is a good idea to have serial numbers and descriptions of your electronics, cameras and other items kept in a safe place,” he said.
Wellhouser said to be observant and to report any suspicious activity to the patrol or the sheriff’s office.
To reach the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol, call (858) 756-4372 or visit rsfpatrol.blogspot.com/.
The Sheriff’s Department offers a free home crime prevention inspection. Call (760) 966-3500 for more information.