Thousands participate in Light the Night Against Crime 5K run/walk in Balboa Park
Event raises funds for SD County Crime Stoppers
Last Updated: 40 days ago
SAN DIEGO - More than 3,000 runners and walkers participated in the 27th annual Light the Night Against Crime 5K run/walk in Balboa Park on Saturday night, to raise funds for San Diego County Crime Stoppers.
For some of the families at the event, it is an emotional night, one they desperately hope could get them the lead to closure.
Debbie Steingraber, whose son Daniel was shot and killed in Escondido four years ago, has yet to see any justice.
"Something has to be done about continuing with this kind of blatant cold-blooded murder," she said.
She was there to cheer on the thousands showing their support at the 5K run/walk. This year's race has a cops and robbers theme, and runners had the option to choose for which side they would race.
The "robbers" started the race in a mock jail break, and the "cops" followed three minutes later. A third category of "jaywalkers," which was recommended for walkers or participants with strollers or pets, started shortly after, according to event officials. The "cops" will join up, or "catch," the "robbers," and the first 50 pairs to cross the finish line won a prize.
Throughout the race, members of local law enforcement agencies will man displays including those featuring search-and-rescue dogs and SWAT team equipment.
The annual event raises money for San Diego County Crime Stoppers rewards that are paid to people who call, text or send tips via email that lead to felony arrests. Since it was founded in 1984, Crime Stoppers has assisted in solving more than 4,600 cases, and helped apprehend more than 3,300 suspects, officials said.
Police say the tips are often the only break they will get.
"I can tell you numbers of cases whether we're the major homicide investigations, gang cases where people are really reluctant, they're afraid of the gangs," said San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore.
Recently, it is what led them to the arrest of a bank robbery suspect in El Cajon, which is an arrest police say would not have happened without the public.
"We're pretty good at what we do, but we're so much better when we get the help of the community," said Gore. "We work together, we're an unbeatable team."
A festival with food and entertainment followed the race, event organizers said.
Saturday night's five-hour event also featured a law enforcement expo, children's area, prize presentation for best Halloween costume and the sheriff's Haunted Bus.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. City News Service contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.