Suspect caught on camera breaking into cars of San Diego’s military families

TIERRASANTA (KUSI) – After a rash of car break-ins Friday morning, military families in one San Diego neighborhood are fed up. They’re sharing video from the surveillance cameras posted in their neighborhood hoping the community can help them catch the thief.

Courtney Jones and her Navy family lives in one of the Lincoln Military Housing communities in Tierrasanta — a quiet, peaceful neighborhood.

“I ran out to the car and I’m like, ‘Ok I’ll be back’ and stuff was just thrown all over the car,” said Courtney Jones, Navy Wife.

She said it looked like chaos when she opened the car door. The bad guy didn’t just rummage through her car. Her backpack, wallet, even toys belonging to her 7-month-old were all gone.

She said she wasn’t the only one targeted early Friday morning. Cameras within the community captured a man hitting up car after car.

In one of the videos, there’s a man that walked up to one of the cars in a driveway and tested the door to try and get inside. When that didn’t work, he was on to the next car. He successfully opened it and started rummaging through the front.

In a separate video, the thief attempted opening one door. When that didn’t work, he walked across the street to try the other cars.

“You can see him pull the handle. If he gets lucky, he goes in,” said Jones. “He rummages through whatever he can reach only in the front, shuts the door very quietly and then goes to the next car. If he strikes out with that one, he crosses driveways and you can see the spotlight come on. There’s no hesitation.”

Jones said he was wearing her backpack, the one that was stolen, in one of the surveillance videos, filling it up with what he collected in the neighborhood.

For Jones, it wasn’t the missing gift cards or the wallet that left her feeling empty. She said it was the invaluable medical information that was gone.

“I lost some referral slips for my daughter for her specialty care,” said Jones. “The whole reason the book bag got left is because my daughter was diagnosed that day with a really rare congenital birth defect that effects how she breathes, how she eats. It’s pretty serious.”

Jones said she has felt on edge in her own home.

“I felt so violated and I still violated. I lay awake at night and I keep my windows upstairs open, praying that I can hear someone opening a car door and I can run,” said Jones. “Hopefully be the one to give the neighborhood some closure on who it was and catch them.”

As a Navy wife, she said she wants to focus on cherishing the time and moments with her husband and her family around the holidays.

“Taking from family’s who already sacrifices so much, it’s wrong and it really sets back a lot of the joy that we have with our spouses and our kids that’s already cut so short sometimes,” said Jones.

The folks have reached out to the Housing Department to see what they’re going to do about this. Jones told KUSI they’re proactive and are willing to take the right steps to handle this.


Categories: Local San Diego News