SPRING VALLEY (CNS) - This is one monitor that needs to be more closely monitored.
"Bubbles," a 5 1/2-foot exotic lizard that serves as a popular mascot of sorts at an East County pet shop, is back where he belongs as Friday, five days after he apparently got an irresistible yen to roam.
The disappearance of the roughly 5-year-old black-throated monitor -- the reptile made his escape by pushing his way past a cage blocking a back door -- led to a modest flurry of publicity, and one of those news accounts directly led to his return, said Jim Kmet, manager of Bubbles' home, Mike's Pets in Spring Valley.
It seems a Los Angeles man in the San Diego area on business heard a radio report about the errant reptile on Thursday and, finding himself in the neighborhood, stopped by the Paradise Valley Road store to help track down the creature.
On a hillside about 75 yards behind the store, the out-of-towner came across the footloose lizard sunning himself on top of a patch of hillside foliage, Kmet said. The area had been repeatedly searched since Sunday, but Bubbles had managed to remain undetected.
"Obviously, he found a good hiding spot," the store manager said.
The cold-blooded quarry initially was not keen on giving up his freedom.
"He didn't event recognize us (at first) ... . He got a wild instinct just from four days," Kmet said. "It took him a long time to calm down."
Once back at the strip-mall business where he has lived for several years, Bubbles, notably hungry and thirsty, seemed content to be out of the elements again.
Bubbles' worrisome breakout will lead to added precautions -- possibly including a rear screen door at the pet shop -- to keep him from going on the lam again, according to Kmet.
"It was unfortunate, but we learned our lesson," he said.
A 27-year-old man suffered fatal injuries as the result of a "punching game'' inside of a bar Saturday morning in the Gaslamp
neighborhood of San Diego.
SANDAG began removing call boxes along urban highways throughout the San Diego region this month and will continue to do so through June, reflecting a decrease in call volume due to the increase in cell phone ownership.
Authorities today announced that police have arrested a suspect in connection with Friday's sexual assault on the campus of San Diego Mesa College. The name of the suspect was not immediately released.
Showers will be mostly light Saturday morning, decreasing into early Saturday afternoon. Another round of showers expected to push through late afternoon ending late Saturday night.
Police Chief David Nisleit Friday strongly disavowed what he described as an unofficial, "never authorized" departmental program that rewarded officers for making narcotics arrests.
On Friday, San Diego Police announced their search for a suspect involved in a robbery off the San Diego State University campus.
A court-appointed receiver has taken control of a Pacific Beach "hoarder house" that has accumulated trash, created unsafe conditions for children and harbored vermin in recent years, the San Diego City Attorney's Office announced Friday.
The owners of Hauser's Patio reached out to News 8 Friday morning asking to be put in contact with the couple who had their furniture stolen from their patio in Pacific Beach this week.