SANTEE (CNS) - Four men and a woman were in custody Friday in connection with a battery-theft ring in which a variety of vehicle types were targeted in the East County, authorities said.
From Feb. 1 to March 21, a total of 31 batteries were stolen from private and commercial vehicles, including trucks, golf carts and motor homes in the East County, said San Diego County sheriff's Sgt. Craig Johnson.
On Wednesday, patrol deputies received a report that two batteries were stolen from a motor home in the 9500 block of Nicole Way in Santee, Johnson said.
A witness to the theft gave investigators a description of the thieves, their car and a license plate number, which was registered to a residence on Beechtree Street in El Cajon, he said.
Investigators and patrol deputies placed the Beechtree Street address under surveillance and checked local recycling businesses for the suspects' vehicle. They determined the suspects had just left an El Cajon recycling business after selling batteries, Johnson said.
Within minutes, three people returned to the Beechtree Street residence, where they were arrested, according to Johnson, who said two additional suspects from previous battery thefts were arrested around the same time during a traffic stop.
Brandon Elder, 25, of Lakeside was arrested on suspicion of petty theft and possession of a controlled substance, which Johnson identified as heroin.
Daniel Stevenson, 23, of Lakeside was arrested on suspicion of petty theft and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
Brooke Winter, 21, of El Cajon was arrested on suspicion of petty theft, and Brian Shay, 18, of Santee was arrested on suspicion of parole violation.
Jacob Lippert, 18, of La Mesa was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance -- heroin, according to Johnson -- and being in possession of drug-consumption paraphernalia and burglary tools.
The investigation remains open, Johnson said, adding that more people may be involved in the burglary spree.
"The public is encouraged to keep their vehicles secured and minimize the potential for theft," the sergeant said.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris is scheduled Friday to tour the Otay Mesa Immigration and Detention Facility, where she will visit migrant mothers who were separated from their children.
Sentencing is scheduled Friday for a San Diego man who beat, raped and strangled a female friend after watching her have sex with another couple, then stuffed her body in a suitcase and put it out with the trash.
As the weather heats up, County Animal Services says you may see more rattlesnakes out and about. The department has already received 656 rattlesnake calls since the beginning of the year, 100 more than last year at this time. Some 30 calls came in since last Wednesday.
A bleeding, gravely injured man banged on the door of a Lemon Grove home in an apparent last-gasp plea for help, and his death a short time later prompted sheriff's deputies to launch a homicide investigation, authorities said Friday.
High pressure over Northern Mexico will warm temperatures Friday. Coastal areas cooler due to weak onshore flow. Excessive heat warning in effect for San Diego County deserts through Friday evening.
Two dogs attacked a woman and her toddler son on an East County roadside Thursday, leaving them seriously injured, authorities said.
Come into Battle Axe and you are sure to learn a thing or two. The "axperts" will teach you two-handed throws and a little humility.
A local trash collector found a tiny treasure – and a friend for life - on the job recently. Michael Cabrera was finishing up his shift one night when he found a kitten trapped in his truck.