NewsLocal NewsSouth Bay News


San Ysidro gymnastics academy hit by repeated vandalism

San Ysidro gymnastics academy targeted by repeated vandalism
Posted at 5:04 PM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 20:26:17-05

SAN YSIDRO, Calif. (KGTV) — The owner of a San Ysidro gymnastics academy says she's being terrorized by a vandal, who has targeted her business repeatedly in the past six weeks.

These days, at Rock Star Gymnastics Academy, the joy of gymnastics is joined by another feeling: anxiety.

“You're in constant worry mode,” said owner Lonna Arballo.

On January 10, Arballo says an employee that morning was greeted by a shattered side window. Surveillance video shows a figure lurking outside around 5:30 a.m. Arballo covered the window with cardboard.

“Figured this will be a one-time thing. We just have to get it fixed,” said Arballo.

On January 24, video shows just before 5 a.m., a man with a hammer smashing the front door twice, before grabbing stealing T-shirts hanging inside. Arballo says she realized that her business was being targeted.

“I’m just wondering why is he coming after our business,” said Arballo.

After several weeks of quiet, on February 15, video shows a person move toward the side window and out of camera range. Suddenly, flames appear. The cardboard covering the side window was on fire. Moments later, the figure is back near the front door, and throws a rock, shattering the newly repaired front door.

Fire crews put out the flames, but there is some damage inside.

“Sad, confused. Just trying to figure out why,” said Arballo.

In total, the vandal has caused more than $2,000 in damage, and Arballo says she will be paying out of pocket for it.

For Arballo, who nearly had to close for good during the pandemic, the extra bills are painful.

So is the extra insult.

On Friday, a man fitting the suspect's description was seen writing on the sheet metal covering the door, the words ‘REAL NO FAKE,’ a message which adds to Arballo's confusion.

“We just worry about what he's going to do next,” said Arballo.

Arballo has filed several police reports. The suspect is believed to be in his 30s or 40s and 5’6” to 5’8" with a slender build.

Anyone with information on the cases is asked to call Crimestoppers at 888-580-8477.