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Vigilance urged even after arrests

Although arrests were made in June for a string of widespread burglaries in North County, Rancho Santa Fe Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser cautioned residents to stay on high alert. Wellhouser spoke at the Rancho Santa Fe Association’s monthly board meeting on Aug. 9.

According to an Aug. 1 news release from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, alleged suspects and Inglewood residents Daron Davon Turner, 38 and his half-brother, Daren Tyrone Turner, 25, were arrested on June 6 for a residential burglary in Poway.

Alleged suspect Daron Turner is facing a total of 10 burglary felony counts while his brother Daren Turner is facing five counts.     

Wellhouser explained that a subsequent investigation branched into seizing evidence which uncovered a connection into additional burglaries in the county, including four residential burglaries in Rancho Santa Fe. He also noted from the press release how other Turner family members were also allegedly involved in the crime ring.

Wellhouser cited from the press release that numerous firearms were recovered and connected to another burglary in Vista.

Wellhouser does not want Covenant members to let their guard down following these arrests because in his semi-annual report from January to June 2018, there were a total of 10 residential burglaries.

“The bad news is that not all the burglars were caught — the other burglars are still loose,” Wellhouser said. “I still want to encourage everyone to turn on your alarm, lock your house and be vigilant. Talk to your neighbors and share information — this is the way these things get solved.”

Wellhouser shared that victims of the burglaries detailed in the Aug. 1 press release will be contacted by the detectives from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

While there was a 37 percent decrease in residential burglaries from the semi-annual report since the one in 2017, Wellhouser said half of the robberies that occurred this year were not from forced entry. So, staying both vigilant and diligent did bear repeating. 

From January to June 2018, there were two commercial burglaries compared to four in the same time period in 2017.

Wellhouser then focused on other areas of the semi-annual report, which included 2,117 calls for service with average response time for calls at 6 minutes 43 seconds. Approximately 11 percent of the calls were from alarms, he said.

According to Wellhouser, traffic collisions dropped a bit. The predominant factor in accidents was excessive speed. Likewise, there were a total of 52 injury collisions, down by seven compared to 2017. However, there were a total of 38 noninjury collisions, up by five since 2017.

“We are also seeing a little increase in vehicle theft in the region,” Wellhouser said. “These guys (burglars) don’t worry about boundaries — they steal things from cars so don’t leave things visible.” 

Wellhouser closed his presentation by sharing the department hired a new employee about a month ago with a background in law enforcement.

“He’s a very experienced officer,” Wellhouser said.

Anyone with information about the burglary cases related to the alleged Turner suspects is encouraged to contact San Diego Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.