Wednesday, March 22 – An antique collective on Ortega Hill Road reported theft of an expensive Japanese lamp during store hours. The 24-inch Japanese polychrome enamel decorated glazed earthenware lamp is valued at $795.

The owner of the lamp told Deputy J. Rivlin that the day prior he noticed a 40-year-old female, possibly a transient, suspiciously wandering around his store.

Summerland Stalker

Friday, March 31 – An unknown stalker unlawfully entered a house on Lillie Avenue while the resident was at work.

The victim said she left her house around 8 am and upon arrival noticed some “strange things” had been done to her house. The resident said she found in her daughter’s room all of her sheets removed from the bed placed in a bundle on the floor. In the bathroom, she found that a pillow had been shoved inside the toilet. In the master bedroom she found that the sheets had also been displaced. The victim also said she found fluid on the bedspread, which she believed to be semen. She added that she quickly threw away the sheets.

The woman reported she was unclear who would have done this, but she mentioned that someone may be stalking her. She said she has been receiving dubious text messages at work. Her most recent message, for instance, said “I want a hickey too.”

The victim told deputies that her boyfriend had given her a hickey a few days prior to the message. She suspects that the stalker could be from an online dating service she used a year earlier, a rapport she said ended disastrously.

Deputies searched the premise for fingerprints, but found no signs of forced entry or pry marks that would suggest foul play.

Pump and Run in Upper Village

Tuesday, April 4 – On two occasions, a 30-something male stole gas from a gas station in Upper Village. According to the owner, the suspect filled up his vehicle with $31 of gasoline and told him that he only had $8, but that he would pay him back by the end of the month. The suspect left his name and number, but never returned, says the owner.

A month later, the suspect returned and filled up $61 worth of gasoline. The employee working at the time stated that the suspect told him to “put it on his tab” and left the gas station.

The owner said he would not press charges if the debt was paid back in full. Deputy M. Johnson said he tried unsuccessfully to contact the suspect.

Boozing Blues

Wednesday, April 5 – A 22-year-old man was arrested at the corner of Old Coast Highway and Hot Springs Road for driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.

Deputy Rose said he noticed a group of people hanging out in the Vons parking lot around midnight. He wrote in his sheriff’s report that one of the men had opened the door to his car and that a beer bottle had fallen out. The suspect quickly drove out of the parking lot onto Hot Springs Road and proceeded to turn down Old Coast Highway before Rose pulled him over.

A field sobriety test indicated that the driver had been drinking alcohol. Breathalyzer results of .10% blood alcohol content, .02% over the legal limit, confirmed Rose’s suspicions.

Triple Play at Cold Springs Trail

Sunday, April 9 – Three cars were burglarized at the Cold Springs Trailhead.

Deputy Greene said suspects used a device to smash windows and removed property from each of the vehicles. A considerable number of valuables, such as a laptop computer, designer sunglasses, wallets, backpacks and other items, were taken from the three cars.

For awhile the County Sheriff’s Department has grappled with persisting rashes of smash and grabs at trailheads. Two years ago, the Department launched an enforcement program to curb trailhead crime activity with increased monitoring of high volume areas and by adding the presence of deputies roving trails on bicycles. Law enforcement officials said the program yielded encouraging results by limiting to two the number of car burglaries at the Cold Spring Trailhead in 2004.

Officials admitted crime activity does flair up during spring and summer when trails are used more intensely.

Deputies advise people to leave items of value inside their trunk or out of visible range.