East County residents call for crackdown on street crime

SANTEE, Calif. -- Residents in Santee say they are fed up with illegal activity happening right outside their windoww.

"It's an ugly problem. We just try to keep everything locked up and we try to not look out our windows because we just don't want to see what's out there anymore," one neighbor said.

The residential community off Magnolia Avenue has street names like Carefree Drive and Peaceful Court, but several residents told FOX 5 that problems are growing. Vehicle break-ins and drug use are becoming more frequent.

Six residents agreed to talk about the rising crime in the area, but none of them wanted to be identified. One woman said her boyfriend's truck was recently stolen. Not long after it was found, she caught a man on surveillance video trying to take off with her car.

"They couldn't start the car and so they left it, because I got my locks changed," the woman said.

Other residents say they've also been targeted by thieves.

"I've had my older car broken into numerous times," one resident told FOX 5.

"My property's been defaced, I've had my garage doors egged," another said.

They also complained about public drug usage.

“Right outside my 3-year-old’s window -- I’ve got to keep my windows sealed at night and during the day because I don’t want meth smoke coming into my house, pot smoke," a woman said. 

"We can't take our kids outside because of all the people that are hanging out," another mother complained.

The residents said they wanted to see deputies crack down on the criminals.

"We definitely need more patrols, because it's the safety of the adults and especially the children here," a resident said.

San Diego County Sheriff's deputies told FOX 5 they plan on increasing patrols in the area based on the complaints.