RANCHO SANTA FE — The serial burglary ring, that officials believe is responsible for the upswing in the number of recent burglaries is Rancho Santa Fee, is still on the loose.
Matt Wellhouser, chief of the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol, reported to the Association that the patrol and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office has partnered in the investigation, but have not yet caught the culprits.
There are leads and the investigation continues, Wellhouser said.
“A crime with no witnesses is a little more difficult to solve,” he added.
He said the burglars are taking iPads, jewelry and computers.
“These are typical day-time burglaries,” Wellhouser said. “They happen when people are away at school, or work or out running errands. They (the burglars) want to get in, grab something and get out.”
There have been 24 burglaries in Rancho Santa Fe in the past six months.
Wellhouser said officials believe they are being done by the same people because of their similarities in entering a home and what they are taking.
He said something for residents to think about is that only 11 of the burglaries were because of forced entries; the burglars entered through unlocked doors or windows on the other robberies.
He said Rancho Santa Fe is a safe community, so people don’t always think about locking their doors, but they should, and they should set their alarms as well.
“People ask me what kind of alarm to get and I say get an easy one,”
Wellhouser said. “If it’s too hard, you don’t want to use it. Get one that is easy for you to use, easy for the kids to use, easy for the whole family.”
He said lighting is important as well and motion lights can be an effective deterrent.
“Dogs are a good alarm system. You don’t have to turn them off and on,” he said.
Wellhouser also urged residents to notify the patrol or the sheriff’s office when they see something that seems suspicious or out of place.
“We don’t mind getting those calls. That might be the break we need,” he said.
He said residents should call (858) 759-8588, or 9-1-1.
Also, be sure to set up a vacation check of your home while you are away.
The RSF Patrol does that as a service to residents, he said.
Crime prevention information and the latest patrol news can be followed on the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol Blogspot.
The Patrol, while still on the look out for the serial burglars, did arrest four others.
“They spent the night in the house after burglarizing it. Not too smart there,” Wellhouser said.
He said burglaries are up not only locally, but also in surrounding cities such as Encinitas and Solana Beach.