Probation compliance sweep at trolley stop in Lemon Grove nets 53 arrests

LEMON GROVE, Calif. - Law enforcement officers made 53 arrests and caught nine probation violators during a probation compliance sweep of a busy trolley stop, officials announced Saturday.

The multi-agency sweep occurred at the platform at 3443 Main St. in Lemon Grove and the surrounding area on Friday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., San Diego County Sheriff's Lt. Chris May said.

The platform serves passengers riding the Metropolitan Transport System's Orange Line trolley, which runs from Downtown San Diego to El Cajon.

During the check, enforcement officers made 3,330 contacts to determine trolley fare compliance which resulted in about 100 probation searches, May said. Officers made 22 felony arrests, 31 misdemeanor arrests, caught nine probation violators and issued 119 trolley citations.

"The goal was to identify and contact prolific offenders and their associates," May said. "Deputies and investigators looked at who was arrested and, when possible, they looked to see if the offenders are linked to known existing crime cases."

Sheriff's deputies worked with officers from MTS Trolley Enforcement, the San Diego County Probation Department and State Parole to conduct the sweep, dubbed "Operation Lemon Drop," as part of the sheriff's department's "Operation Safe Communities."

May said "many of the arrestees" were previously convicted non-violent offenders who were released to local level law enforcement agencies to reduce overcrowding at state prisons.

The information the deputies and officers compiled will aid the sheriff's department in determining when and where to devote resources to address safety issues in neighborhoods, May said.

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