Crime in Northpark/Hillcrest/Uni Heights

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Submitted by barnaby33 on December 28, 2006 - 11:32am

Last night, for the second time in a month someone broke a window on my 4Runner to steal from me. A year ago in Nov, my old 4Runner was stolen off of polk street. I have now been the victim of theft twice in a year period. Seems to me that crime is getting really bad in this area.

On TV I keep hearing about lots of assualts as well. I wonder how much of it are symptoms of an economic slowdown, or maybe just less policing because of budget problems. Any ideas from the peanut gallery?

Submitted by blahblahblah on December 28, 2006 - 11:49am.

That's one reason I sold my condo in that neighborhood. We had a "secure" parking garage and almost all of us had our windows broken in at least once while parked there. We had some tweaker types renting one of the units, and it was a pretty nice building. This was back in 2003-2004.

Submitted by ybbor on December 28, 2006 - 12:22pm.

The SD-PD has a cool website that will show you all crime in your area... you can even subscribe to get an e-mail that tells you everything that has happened in the past week within like 1 mile from your house.

here is a like to the side


My Blog

Submitted by Irish on December 28, 2006 - 12:20pm.

My friend was recently held up at knifepoint by two young hispanic males last week on 30th Street and Landis. It was around 10pm and she had just enjoyed a fun dinner and desert at Heaven-Sent Deserts. Fortunately she had the presence of mind to swing her (very large) handbag at the guy and scare them off. She was pretty shaken up but happy not to have been cut or robbed.
Josh, you're right, this neighborhood is not safe. I know about this incident and a string of other home break-ins/robberies in the last few months.
To make matters worse, I hear they have even closed down the Community Police Store-Front on 30th Street. I don't know why we are seeing this surge in crime right now but a lower police profile is certainly not helpful.


Submitted by BuyerWillEPB on December 28, 2006 - 12:24pm.

I have thoughts like you describe every day as I drive to work. Some fool will cut me off, or act crazy, whatever, and I think to myself "Yep, that guy must've lost $100,000 on his house this week."

It gets me through the day. :)

Submitted by vcguy_10 on December 28, 2006 - 1:09pm.

"Fortunately she had the presence of mind to swing her (very large) handbag at the guy (...)"

Irish, I would say "unfortunately". Your friend was very lucky that she was confronted by novice muggers. Had they been hardened criminals, they would have hurt your friend. I think that no amount of money in your purse is worth an ugly scar, or worse.

Submitted by bub on December 28, 2006 - 1:15pm.

barnaby33 have no fear.

"Citizens on beat to deter criminals"

Heard about this on Roger's show yesterday. Will they be called vigilantes like the Minutemen?

(For the soft hearted Libs, that was a rhetorical question.)

Submitted by Critter on December 28, 2006 - 1:22pm.

I agree with VCGuy. I recently read that it is better to toss the purse or wallet and then run in the opposite direction - most thieves will grab for the booty while you escape with your life.

Submitted by PerryChase on December 28, 2006 - 3:00pm.

No matter the amount of crime, I certainly would never vote for more police in the City of San Diego. The city is certainly so mismanaged that only a bankruptcy will save our finances. Sorry, but I think that the beast needs to be put on a crash diet. The pension deficit alone is $12k+ per household. Who's going to foot the bill?

My brother has a business in San Diego and he moved out of the city limits in anticipation of higher taxes and fees.

Submitted by jg on December 28, 2006 - 6:41pm.

Thanks for the link, Robby; very informative.

The good news is that in the depths of the upcoming recession/depression, the libs in Sacramento will give in and allow us to carry concealed weapons, as is done in Texas and many other places. Then, thugs will think twice before trying to rob folks; see "More Guns, Less Crime," by Professor John Lott for the full story.

Until then, sheeple, be quiet, fall in line, and turn over that purse/wallet/car when 'asked.'

Submitted by barnaby33 on December 29, 2006 - 11:15am.

Thats just a fantasy JG and not a particularly helpful one. Afghanistan has more guns per person than anywhere else on the planet and its not safe. I am a gun owner and I don't believe that line. Guns don't make people safe, a responsible citizenry does. Guns are just a tool.


Submitted by mixxalot on December 29, 2006 - 1:46pm.

The problem is that criminals are not effectively punished in America. That and many gang bangers under 18 who murder are let go with a slap on the wrist.

I think that if the city was able to deal with the endemic corruption and financial mismanagement then more police and other services would be addressed. More cops on street beats walking around these high crime areas would do a lot to intimidate criminals IF real punishment was meted out to these punks.

San Diego has a very bad drug and gang problem that is has not dealth with in an effective manner yet. I would never buy downtown or in Hillcrest/Northpark with the massive amount of gang activity and theft. Same counts for places in North County like Oceanside and Vista.

Submitted by Diego Mamani on December 29, 2006 - 2:31pm.

Well said, Barnaby. I grew up in a home with guns and I know what you mean. If you have a gun, that's fine, but are you ready to use it? Some believe that pointing a gun to a bad guy and saying "hands up" is going to work magically as it does on TV. Truth is, before you get to the "S" in "hands up" you may be dead. My point is, if you have a gun, and you intend to use it, then you have to be ready to shoot the mugger before he even knows that you have a gun.

Killing a thug, aside from the traumatic experience that it may be for some, can be very costly (time and money) in legal proceedings. Much easier and cheaper to surrender a few hundred bucks in your purse or wallet; after all, these people are so stupid to begin with, that they will end up in jail, or dead, sooner or later. Think of the money gone as a "random tax" for living in a large metro area... No need to risk your health or life over this.

The above is real life, which of course is different from what we see on TV, or from what some joker with a cowboy complex may tell us in cocktail parties.

Submitted by Diego Mamani on December 29, 2006 - 2:59pm.

Mixxalot, I'd recommend you take a look at the Freakanomics book. It makes the point that compared to the 1970s, we are doing a better job at jailing criminals, which is one of the reasons cited for the enormous decline in crime rates we saw in the 1990s (another reason is the legalization of induced abortion). Also, if you compare the USA with other industrialized countries, you'll see that a larger proportion of the population is jailed here.

Unfortunately, there's a limit to how much crime can be reduced (in a large metro area) without turning our country into a police state. As an example, the Saddam-era Iraq was very safe crime-wise, because the dictator's cops were in every corner watching everything and everybody. Sure, they had no muggers or rapists, but no freedom either.

Submitted by PerryChase on December 29, 2006 - 3:37pm.

I agree with you Diego.

I believe the big reason with have crime is the failed war on drugs. 1/2 of the population does drugs but we pretend drungs don't exist. We should just legalize drugs and prostitution and get them out of criminals' control. If not, we should start to punish the middle and upper class consumers of drugs rather making half-assed attempts at arresting the petty criminals.

Plus what do you expect when you move into a gentrifying neighboorhood? The poor people who were there to begin with are squeezed even more by the escalating cost of living and turn to petty crime. Poor people don't just disappear because the yuppies move in.

Submitted by barnaby33 on December 29, 2006 - 6:56pm.

Careful PerryChase, that comes dangerously close to justifying criminal behaviour. All I said is that JG's assertion is a fantasy, not that I wouldn't confront a burglar in my home with a gun.

There are lots of places where people are poor on a scale Americans arent even aware of, but not all of them have high crime.

There are lots of reasons why America has higher crime than other places, no one reason is the big reason. Drugs are probably one, but so is lack of education and its attendant economic opportunities.

I was just curious as to other peoples crime experiences here in this part of town. To me the problem is getting severely worse.


Submitted by Diego Mamani on December 30, 2006 - 1:58am.

Perry, I couldn't agree more about the need to legalize drugs. The current laws actually encourage crime by making drug dealing so profitable. But as Barnaby says, there are also many other factors driving crime.

I don't agree about poverty causing crime. As the recent corporate scandals show, crime is caused more by loose morals. The probability of being caught and convicted also affects crime.

I've noticed that, at least in developing countries, the poorest people are seldom, if ever, involved in crime, except perhaps for pick pockets and purse snatchers. In Latin America, for example, serious crime is often committed by former cops or people who have or could have a "day" job. Which brings us back to the issue of morals. (By "morals" I'm referring to the Golden Rule: don't do to others what you don't want done to you or your loved ones).

Submitted by Irish on December 30, 2006 - 12:19pm.

I agree, for the most part, that if you are held up at knifepoint, you should probably "hand it over" without a fight. The loss of money/property pales in comparison to physical injury or worse. The friend I referred in my previous post agrees too, but she was a bit tipsy and the purse contained a precious gift from her mother !

There has apparently been a rash of street robberies during the last few months in the area just south of the North Park Theater targeting the after-theater-goers. The area is indeed "transitional" as it has been for the past 15 years and spikes in crime have been happening for as long as I can remember. So not much has really changed in my opinion. The neighborhood needs to rally around and become more vigilant and the crime wave will move to another part of town.

One observation I have is that there has been a massive displacement of relatively poor renters in the area as they are forced out due to the "condoization" of many 10-20 unit buildings. Where did all these people go when they were unable to raise the $250-300k for their little apartment ? Could this phenomenon be contributing in some way to the surge in crime ?

Submitted by NeetaT on December 31, 2006 - 7:44pm.

I have one thing to say. If someone tries to car jack me they will end up in the emergency room with only the ability to blink their eyes. No, I will not give up my $125,000.00 Porsche to someone who does not deserve to be alive. I can not believe what a weak nation we have become. This is all a result of having a feckless legal system. I do not see anything wrong with having security guards possessing MP-5's posted in numerous positions throughout the city. We all talk about losing freedoms if it were to come down to martial law. What freedoms would you lose? The freedom to commit a crime without being seen? The freedom to steel someones car? The freedom to throw trash in the streets? The freedom to sell drugs? OK, legalize drugs so that the people who do them will get so much that they overdose and purge from our society. Now I'm all for that.

Submitted by Borat on December 31, 2006 - 8:20pm.

NeetAt, you should move to Kazakhstan. It is like you describe. The Porsche rich mans have machine gun guards to protect against poor mans and gypsy. Very nice!

Submitted by jg on January 1, 2007 - 12:19pm.

More 'action' in North Park/Hillcrest:

Rumor has it that Diane Feinstein carries a concealed handgun:

Maybe the poor fellow out with his wife would not have been able to get a concealed weapon out in time, but he would at least have had a fighting chance.

"An armed society is a polite society."

Submitted by Diego Mamani on January 1, 2007 - 3:31pm.

Europeans always wonder why it is so easy in this country for a mentally ill person (like the murderer at the desserts cafe) to get a gun. I wonder if this is a case of random violence, or whether the murderer knew his victim. They are both of about the same age, the dead man was in the military, and perhaps the killer too; after all, this is San Diego.

If it was random, it alll started with the crazy guy simply staring at his victims. A few years back, my (now) wife and I were having lunch at a Souplantation restaurant, when I noticed a young man staring at us in a very obvious way. Other than our, er, good looks, there was no reason for staring like that; perhaps the fact that we are of different ethnicities may had something to do with it.

This went on for a while, and I was getting increasingly annoyed. Eventually I screamed at him "Are you staring at us?!!" After that, he just stopped staring and that was the end of it.

Had it been some armed lunatic like the guy in the news this week, he may have shot me... By the way, it appears that this week's victim's wife was of a different ethnicity too, to judge from her name.

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