SAN DIEGO–District Attorney Summer Stephan asked for the public’s help in identifying potential victims of an auto theft crime spree in which hundreds of items of suspected stolen property have been recovered.
As part of an auto theft investigation initiated by the Regional Auto Theft Task Force (RATT) in Chula Vista, two defendants were arrested and charged in the case involving more than 50 victims.
“Auto theft and burglaries have a direct impact on victims who often need their vehicles to get to work, take their children to school and conduct their daily lives,” said District Attorney Summer Stephan. “Ultimately, this crime spree affected dozens of people across San Diego County and in addition to holding the defendants accountable we’re working with our partners at RATT to return large amounts of stolen property to victims.”
On March 27, the Chula Vista Police Department contacted the RATT team regarding a stolen vehicle parked inside a motel parking lot. RATT detectives responded to the motel to investigate and arrested two suspects, with assistance by the Chula Vista Police and San Diego County Sheriff. As the result of the arrest, RATT detectives recovered 144 items of suspected stolen property, including cell phones, IDs, credit cards, purses, and a computer laptop. Over the course of the investigation, RATT detectives identified a total of four stolen vehicles and more than 53 victims believed to be connected to the crime spree. More than 40 vehicles were burglarized during the crime spree over the course of several days across the county.
“These were crimes of opportunities,” said RATT Commander, CHP Captain James Portilla. “To help prevent theft you should always lock your doors and close your windows; and never leave valuable items visible in your car.”
Detectives have been able to identify less than half of the 53 potential victims they believe are connected to this crime spree and are asking for the public’s help in identifying additional victims. Victims would have had their vehicles burglarized during the last two weeks of March 2018 in the following areas of San Diego County: Downtown San Diego, Tierra Santa, Mission Valley, Mid-City of San Diego, Spring Valley, San Diego State College area, National City, Chula Vista, and Imperial Beach
On April 10, Malcolm Brown, 22, pleaded guilty to vehicle theft and residential burglary, and Alexis Carr, 25, pleaded guilty to auto theft and burglary. The pair is scheduled to be sentenced on May 8 at San Diego Superior Court Central Division.
If you believe you are one of these victims please contact the San Diego County Regional Auto Theft Task Force at (858) 627-4000.