Ocean Beach residents take action to stop arson, vandalism

SAN DIEGO -- Ocean Beach residents who are fed up with recent acts of arson and vandalism are teaming up to put a stop to the crimes.

On Tuesday, several organizations including the Ocean Beach Town Council will host a public meeting to talk about the issue and try to come up with solutions.

“People are upset. People are very angry about what’s going on. They want answers. They would like some justice. Personal property has been destroyed. It also is not a good look for our community,” Marcus Turner, the Vice President of the Ocean Beach Board of Directors, said.

Turner said since the beginning of December, there have been at least 40 cases of vandalism and eight vehicles that have been set on fire.

Jordana Bjorkman is one of the most recent victims of arson. Just before Christmas, she and her husband woke up to find their SUV on fire. Inside was their two-year-old's car seat.

“The audacity of somebody to do that. You open up a car and you see a car seat -- that is just heartless. You know, there’s a mom, there’s a baby,” Bjorkman said.

Bjorkman and her family were not the only victims. She said that night, 30 to 40 tires were slashed and flags outside homes were burned.

The week before, someone intentionally set fires that damaged at least one home, several vehicles, a wooden fence and a tree.

According to the San Diego Metro Arson Strike Team, more than $100,000 in damage was done.

At Tuesday's meeting, the community is going to talk about preventative measures residents can take to combat crime, including installing more lights and security cameras. The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard.

Anyone with information about the crimes is asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.