Tag Archives: Crime Alert

2009, A Santee Review – Part 1

 

Here at the end of the year, with little going on, I thought it would be a good time to look back over the past 12 months and see what has happened in Santee. In spite of the down economy and the poor housing market, there were a lot of positives. So, without further ado, a review of Santee 2009.

The year kicked off with the Santee Library hosting the first of a series of book discussions centered around the themes of “Love and Forgiveness.” The series was developed by the American Library Association and the Fetzer Institute, and the Santee Library was one of 50 around the country chosen to take part. Dr. Martha Stoddard-Holmes, Associate Professor of Literature and Writing Studies at CSU San Marcos, was the host/moderator for the series, which ran through May. Also in January were the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Installation Dinner (which I was unable to attend) and monthly Sunrise Santee and After-5 Mixer. On the down side, I posted a request for help from the Sheriff’s Department after a high school student was attacked by one of a group of 8 young men, suffering severe injuries. I did not hear what followed on the incident.

My final post in January, on the new Edgemoor Hospital facilities, has, interestingly enough, become the top post on my blog. I wrote the post after going to an Open House held at the new location, and after reading a rather scathing opinion piece in the Union-Tribune. In contrast to the impression in the U-T article, I was very impressed with the facilities and the people I met there. The new hospital is now completely up and running and the old facilities are scheduled for the wrecking ball this week.

February started off on a decided down note with the coverage of the search for two suspects in a horrifying child molestation case. Aaron Zendejas had been arrested for providing children he had been hired to babysit to Jared Yaffe, who was wanted in multiple states on child pornography charges. Zendejas later pleaded guilty to charges and faces 15 years to life in prison; Yaffe was arrested in Brazil and will stand trial in April. Also on the crime scene, a postal employee was arrested for stealing gift cards from his route and possibly the post office as well.

On a more positive note, Cajon Park School held a dedication ceremony for its new classroom building and an Open House for the community to see all the work that had been done through the Proposition R programs. This included renovations on the existing buildings and the reconfiguration of their circular classroom building into a Library/Media Center. The new building has classrooms for 5th and 6th grade upstairs and 7th and 8th (junior high) downstairs. The upstairs section is connected to the main school buildings by a bridge.

In February I also wrote a new On Food Patrol about Mimi’s Cafe, a Meet Your Neighbor for the Santee Library’s speaker series, and previews for a Chamber Small Business Seminar, the Miss Santee Pageant, and the Christian Youth Theater production of Honk.

March was a busy month both in Santee and here on the blog. I did one more post on Honk and covered the PLAY (Performing Lakeside Acting Youth) production of Beauty and the Beast at Lakeside Middle School. I missed the Miss Santee Pageant, but I did post a short piece on the winners, Miss Santee, Sierra Billock, and Miss Santee Teen, Nicole Ehlke. These two young women have been very dedicated and involved representatives of the city. I also introduced the Santee Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, who were kicking off the Shop Santee and Save campaign focusing on Santee’s low sales tax rate. The month ended with a post on the preparation work that the U.S. Census was doing for the upcoming 2010 Census.

Every year March brings Santree Fest, a celebration of Earth Day and recognition of Santee as an official Tree City by the National Arbor Day Foundation. This year the event was held at Mast Park, located between Carlton Hills Blvd. and the Wal-Mart shopping center, along the San Diego River. The day included tree planting, trash and non-native vegetation removal, and information booths. There was also entertainment by the group Virtual Strangers, a tree climbing demonstration by West Coast Arborists, and plenty of food provided by local eateries. One of the sponsors of the event, the San Diego River Park Foundation, would be involved in other activities during the year.

April was as busy as March, if not more so. The big event in April, and very likely the year, was the grand opening of the first Sonic Drive In in San Diego County. Not only did it create huge lines all around the restaurant on Mission Gorge, it gave me my biggest single day of traffic, with nearly 600 hits. Because I write about Santee, and am part of the Chamber of Commerce, I was able to attend the special VIP event prior to the full opening on the Monday, April 6. Later on I posted some tips for cutting the hassle of waiting in line, and even a taste-off between Sonic and In-N-Out.

A second major event in April was the Spring Eggstravaganza at Santee Lakes, presented by the City of Santee and Padre Dam. The day included egg hunts, games, rides, and food. Primo DJ provided music and an army of volunteers kept everything running smoothly for the families that came to enjoy the fun. Another important event at Santee Lakes was the annual Relay for Life of Santee for the American Cancer Society. This would be the tenth year for the Relay, which raises money and awareness for the fight against cancer.

Also this month were a pair of grand openings, Frubble and SewCalCuties, the new Santee Farmers Market, the monthly After-5 Mixer, and several other small events. I covered the Omelette Factory for another Food Patrol, did some updates on Sonic traffic, took part in the RiverBlitz survey along the San Diego River, and previewed two health-related events and a new CYT production.

It’s pretty clear that 2009 was a busy year in Santee. Rather than trying to review it all in one post, I will continue my look back with two follow-up posts. Meanwhile, enjoy the end of the year and remember not to drink and drive on New Year’s Eve.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Business, Chamber Activities, Community, Crime Watch, Entertainment, On Food Patrol, Schools

Crime Watch – News on Child Molestation Case

A report just came out that Jared Yaffe, the main suspect in the baby sitter molestation case, has been caught in Brazil, of all places.  According to the report, he was captured on Monday and returned to the U.S. on Tuesday.  He will be arraigned in San Diego on 17 counts of child sexual assault and kidnapping.  I would expect other charges, since he is also accused of child pornography.

This makes two down, and possibly one to go.  Police are still looking for a man named “Nick” who may also have been involved.  I posted an earlier story, including a picture of Nick, back in February – you can access it here.

For a more detailed article, check out these stories:

NBC 7/39 News

10 News

San Diego Union-Tribune

Leave a comment

Filed under Crime Watch

Crime Watch – Arson

Two cars along Carlton Oaks Drive were totally destroyed and two others damaged by arson fires early Sunday morning.  The incident happened around 2:30 am near the intersection of Pike Rd, just down the road from Carlton Hills School.  Another arson fire occurred last month, on March 3, when someone started a fire in the baby’s clothing section of the Old Navy store.  This incident happened around 6:45 pm.  If you have any information about either of these fires, you can contact the Sheriff’s Department at 858-565-5200.

Leave a comment

Filed under Crime Watch

Crime Watch – Child Molestation Update

New Suspect in Child Molestation Case

New Suspect in Child Molestation Case

“Nick”

On Wednesday police issued an update on the child molestation/child pornography case I posted earlier.  There is a new suspect being sought – a second babysitter who may have also provided children to Jared Yaffe for molestation/pornography purposes.  He is known only by the name “Nick” and is possibly around 18 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, and with a slim build.  Meanwhile, Jared Yaffe is still at large.  If you have any information about Yaffe or “Nick” please contact San Diego Police or CrimeStoppers.

San Diego Police: 619-531-2000

San Diego County CrimeStoppers: 888-580-8477 or email sally@sdcrimestoppers.com

You can also Send an Anonymous Tip

San Diego Union-Tribune

KGTV News

KNSD News

KUSI News

1 Comment

Filed under Crime Watch

Crime Alert – Postal Problems

Are you missing something you expected in the mail?  It turns out a Santee postal worker has been arrested on suspicion of stealing mail.  Allen Pitman apparently covered an area around Mission Gorge Rd. and Cottonwood Ave.  According to reports, he would target anything that looked like a birthday/congratulations type card and check it for anything valuable (money, gift cards, etc.).  He had 30 gift cards as well as W-2s and Social Security mail when he was arrested.  In addition to stealing off his route he may also have stolen items at the post office itself.  His activities may go back to 2005 – which is a lot of gift cards that might be gone.  If you think you may be missing something you expected, or if you sent something and it didn’t arrive, please contact the Santee Sheriff’s Department at 619-956-4053.

For more details, check out these news sites:

KGTV News

KFMB News

KNSD News

San Diego Union-Tribune

Leave a comment

Filed under Crime Watch

Crime Watch – Child Molestation Suspect

Have You Seen This Man?

Have You Seen This Man?

Jared Ravin Yaffe

Police are looking for the man pictured above in connection with child molestation.  He is accused of being involved with Aaron Zendejas, who has already been arrested in this case.  Zendejas is accused of allowing others to molest children he had been hired to babysit in Santee and El Cajon.  Yaffe is wanted for child molestation and child pornography, and is apparently also wanted in other states.  If caught and convicted, he could receive a term of 100 years in prison – let’s help get him there quickly.

If you have any information about Yaffe, please call San Diego Police at 619-531-2000 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477

Did You Use This Man as a Babysitter?

Did You Use This Man as a Babysitter?

Aaron Zendejas

Police are also asking for anyone who used this man, Aaron Zendejas, as a babysitter to contact them immediately.  Zendejas is accused of permitting Yaffe and perhaps others to molest children in his care.

For more information, check the following links:

San Diego Union-Tribune

KUSI News

KGTV News

KNSD News

KFMB News

Again, the phone numbers:

San Diego Police: 619-531-2000

Crime Stoppers: 888-580-8477

2 Comments

Filed under Community, Crime Watch

Crime Alert

This is a request for assistance from the Santee Sheriffs Department:

SANTEE SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT NEEDS YOUR HELP!!

On December 29th at 10:00pm near the Arbors Apartments (Mast & Magnolia Park Drive) (a block east of 7-11) a group of about 8 young men (in their 20’s) approached 3 high school kids.  For no reason, one of the young men assaulted one of the high school kids, causing thousands of dollars of serious facial damage.  The young man that attacked the high school kid may have suffered a damaged or cut hand.

$1,000 REWARD for information leading to the arrest and conviction of this individual.  Please call Detective Whiteman at (619) 956-4030

Santee is a great community, and we all need to work together to keep it that way.  If you have any information at all, please let the Sheriffs Department know so that we can keep our community safe.

2 Comments

Filed under Community, Crime Watch