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Dogging Del Mar Crime
Shirley King | Avenida Primavera

Deterrence is the key to property crime reduction - by no means an unfamiliar understanding. That was the unequivocal message from the May 31st crime prevention meeting with a panel of Law Enforcement officers from the City of San Diego, Northwestern Division and the County Sheriff’s North Coast Station with Mayor Sherryl Parks in attendance and Del Mar resident Ira Sharp moderating for the residents from Del Mar Heights and City of Del Mar areas.

And deterrence can also be spelled “dog.” Having a pet dog in one’s home is as effective as a bomb-sniffing canine working for the TSA. Both prevent crimes from ever happening. Captain John Maryon, command of the North Coastal Sheriff’s Station said that he had investigated only one crime where a dog was present and in that case the perpetrator was a teenage neighbor who was known to the dog. Though a vacationing dog may need a replacement.

Captain Maryon and his San Diego Police colleagues at the Northwestern Division work collaboratively to cover the jurisdictional boundaries between Del Mar and San Diego (Del Mar Heights). An example of their work was evident at the panel discussion when they calmly responded to intense and at times demanding questions from a jam-packed audience at the Del Mar TV Communications Center. Residents from both the Heights and the City of Del Mar revealed their persistent anxieties about becoming victims of property crimes and disorderly conduct. Despite some citizens expressing dissatisfaction with not knowing when crimes occur in their area and the length of time to expect an officer at the scene after a Priority 4 incident (car/home break-in), the officers emphasized always calling 9-1-1 to report a concern.

The officers synthesized the common factors of their crime data, which for our community are primarily crimes of opportunity - perpetrated when doors have been left unlocked and pricey possessions that sit in plain sight in a vehicle. Most property thefts in our area occur when access is as easy as an open door. The affluence of our community is an obvious attraction and many of us make it all too possible for prowlers to target an easy access into our homes and cars. The perpetrators are not looking to inflict violence, but rather to do their work with the least difficulty to capture the commodities that can be marketed quickly. The suggestion is that drug habits and the need for immediate funds fuel most of the motivations to steal.

It is no surprise that our community’s policing resources are prioritized and rationed; thus crimes involving bodily harm (rape, violence, accidents) command the quickest and most time-intensive police work. Generally property crime means the loss of our physical inventories - all replaceable and minimally traumatic. Besides having a dog in our lives, staying mindful of how we safeguard our property, living more of our life on our neighborhood streets, interacting with our neighbors regularly and building community relationships let our law enforcement officers work where the needs are greatest.

For the complete summary prepared by Ira Sharp of the May 31st meeting with safety tips and law enforcement contacts, click here


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