Carlsbad police hold community meeting following deadly stabbing

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CARSLBAD, Calif. — A week and a half after a 63-year-old woman was stabbed more than 50 times during a home burglary, Carlsbad police held a meeting Wednesday to provide details on the case and safety tips to concerned community members.

Dozens packed the safety training center and listened to police give a timeline of events the night of the stabbing. Officers also gave people a number of ways to protect themselves and their homes.

“The crime was so horrendous and it affected so many people,” said Carlsbad resident Mary Stanley.

The man and woman charged with Gawitt’s murder are described as being homeless — another big topic during the meeting as police went over their ongoing efforts with their “homeless outreach team.”

“A lot of us live here because it is safe but we’re not feeling safe right now. There’s too many transients, too many homeless,” said Stanley.

Police also opened up the meeting for questions from the public. Overall, people said they walked away with a lot of useful information, but some remained critical of the police department.

“We have been struggling with getting the police officers to come out when we make our phone calls, promptly,” said Jeannie Chapman, who added that her neighborhood was experiencing people dealing drugs.

The police department also provided some statistics, noting residential burglaries were down by 29 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. Overall, crime in Carlsbad falls well below the county average.

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