SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A 40-year-old man was behind bars Saturday in connection with a series of vehicle burglaries that took place from last August to December.
Curt Simnitt was arrested at a La Mesa motel Friday, and was identified by detectives as a suspect in the string of incidents in Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach and downtown La Mesa, according to San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown.
Police said the suspect generally targeted surfers, swimmers, joggers and other beachgoers and would watch as they secured their belongings in their vehicles then hid the keys nearby, Brown said.
After the victims left the area, Simnitt would allegedly retrieve the keys, unlock the vehicles then remove the victims' property, Brown said.
In some instances, the suspect forced entry to the victims' vehicles, Brown said.
The crimes were mostly committed at San Diego beaches, however, the suspect also hit vehicles in shopping center parking lots, Brown said.
Detectives previously identified Simnitt as a suspect and searched his residence, where they found property and evidence from about 50 vehicle burglaries, although Simnitt was not arrested at that time because he was already in custody on unrelated charges, Brown said.
Police, however, did arrest Simnitt Friday after detectives spotted his vehicle at a La Mesa motel, Brown said. He initially refused to come out, but eventually exited the room and was arrested without incident, Brown said.
Simnitt was booked into jail on numerous charges, including 20 counts of possession of stolen property, five counts of identity theft, as well as burglary, forgery and possession of a controlled substance, Brown said.
He was being held on $475,000 bail and was scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to jail records.
Some of the stolen property has already been returned to its owners, however a large amount including surfboards, wetsuits, backpacks, watches, wallets and computers remains unclaimed, Brown said.
Several dogs are in the custody of San Diego County, after a Lomita woman reported that her six dogs were attacked and some killed by a group of pit bulls.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College. The two marches were held in conjunction with other marches across the country.
The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, which prompted the closure of many federal operations, such as national parks and monuments and that included the shutdown of Cabrillo National Monument.
Chilly temperatures and scattered showers started the weekend. Temperatures at the coast and inland communities hovered around 60 degrees with some areas of San Diego County receiving rain during the morning hours.
A transient accused of fatally stabbing a man after they got into an argument near a 7-Eleven store in Poway pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge.
Coastal rail closures could complicate the commute for the thousands of people expected at Women's Marches set for downtown San Diego and San Marcos Saturday, though additional transit options are being made available.
A man arrested in the doctor's lounge at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa after claiming to be an anesthesiologist pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony charge of treating the sick without a certificate.
People who bought new homes in Otay Ranch's Village of Escaya can start moving in Friday - later than planned but after the developer took steps to address methane found at the site.
Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President Donald Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico found their imposing heights should stop border crossers, The Associated Press has learned, a finding that’s likely to please security hawks but raise concerns about costs and environmental damage.