SAN DIEGO — Three suspects wearing masks entered a shoe store at Westfield UTC shopping center on Sunday and started smashing displays with what appeared to be hammers, said San Diego Police Department Northern Division Capt. Erwin Manansala.
Officers responded to 4545 La Jolla Village Drive suite E 25 after receiving reports of a burglary in progress at City Kicks, with witnesses saying the suspects were placing merchandise, including shoes and garments, into duffle bags.
Upon arrival, the suspects fled on foot and police said they jumped over a fence line to a nearby apartment complex. Capt. Manansala confirmed duffle bags containing stolen property were located by officers at the fence line where the suspects fled.
No suspects are in custody at this time. Detectives are working with City Kicks and Westfield UTC security to obtain surveillance footage and additional evidence in an effort to identify, locate and arrest the suspects involved.
SDPD’s Northern Division said it has already showed an increased presence at Westfield UTC and some of the local strip malls in anticipation of the holiday season. Capt. Manansala recommended the following tips for shoppers during this time:
-Be aware of your surroundings, especially in parking lots and public transit stations. If you see suspicious activity, notify the police immediately.
-Avoid leaving purses, backpacks, shopping bags etc. in plain view in your parked vehicle while it is unattended. Often times, theft suspects are looking for targets of opportunity, especially items in plain view.
-Park your vehicle in a well-lit area and remember to lock your vehicle.
-Never leave your vehicle unoccupied with the engine running.
-Avoid carrying large quantities of cash.
-Monitor your credit card and bank info regularly to monitor fraudulent activity. Report any fraudulent activity right away.
-If shopping with children, identify a designated meeting place to meet in the event you are separated. Instruct children on how to ask an employee or security guard for help if they become lost.
Anyone with information related to the incident is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.