Imperial Beach residents fed up with theft, vandalism

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IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — Some residents in the South Bay say they’re fed up with people stealing from them and vandalizing their property.

A dance studio and pet store in Imperial Beach were targeted Thursday morning.

“The puppy on the window, it was all tagged on, you really couldn’t see the face and they just scribbled a bunch of profanity,” dance studio manager Alexandria James said.

Surveillance video from Urban Pet shows the moment it all happened. Just before 1 a.m. Thursday, at least two people were caught outside the store, spraying unkind words across the storefront.

Both businesses say they have no idea why anyone would do this to them, but residents say they have noticed a change in their neighborhood.

“It used to be calm but now I see more and more actions, different people … I don’t know what’s going on around here now,” James said.

“It’s been awhile that we can fully fall asleep because any alarm we hear we’re like, ugh, again,” Angie Torres said.

Torres says over the last year, her family’s vehicles have been broken into four times near Imperial Beach.

“The last vehicle was my mother’s car and that one they did take the radio,” Torres said.

She says she got on social media to find the problem is widespread.

“In less than two months, all these people all over are just talking about the same thing over and over again,” Torres said.

On social media, FOX 5 also saw a number of people complaining about petty crimes in Imperial Beach. FOX 5 inquired about a case reported around 12th Street and Holly Avenue, and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said over the past couple weeks they’ve responded to several theft and vandalism incidents in that area alone.

Although deputies say there hasn’t been an increase in break-in or vandalism cases, people who live in the area say they don’t quite remember it being like this.

“This I haven’t seen a lot, or maybe it’s just possible that it’s on social media now and we’re all visually seeing that it’s happening. I don’t know what it is but it is scary right now,” Torres said.

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