San Diego County Sheriff's Department investigating home burglary series in northern communities

Posted at 5:48 PM, Feb 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-07 13:08:34-05

DEL MAR, Calif. (KGTV) - The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a series of home burglaries in northern San Diego County communities.

A private security firm said many of those burglaries began with crooks posing as salesmen to “case” homes in Olivenhain, Rancho Santa Fe, and Del Mar. A previous 10News report of 20 "home invasions" was inaccurate.  "Home invasion" suggests the residents are there when someone breaks into the home.  There is only one report of a home invasion in the Rancho Santa Fe area.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department said since November 1, 2017, there have been 16 residential burglaries in Rancho Santa Fe and Olivenhain.  Of the 16 crimes, two were homes under construction. There were two residential burglaries in Del Mar since November 1, 2017.  One involved an open garage in which the suspect stole a bicycle.

Nevertheless, residents are on guard.

“I was angry. I was annoyed. I was scared,” said Gina Seau, the ex-wife of former Chargers great Junior Seau.

“I was shocked that it was right here under my nose in my own neighborhood.”Seau said her home security cameras recorded a group of men approach her home four times in a span of a few weeks.

It raised red flags with Seau who learned through friends that people posing as salesman broke into several homes in neighboring communities.

“They’re casing out our homes,” said Seau.

“Solicitors are not raising money for their college education.  A lot of them are involved in criminal activity,” said private security expert Terry Degelder, the founder of Off Duty Officers, Inc.

The Sheriff’s Department confirmed it’s investigating more than 20 cases of people breaking into homes in those communities.

Degelder and the Sheriff’s Deputy warned people to be wary of strangers knocking on your door.

“It sounds like a simple, simple thing but if you don’t know that person outside your door, don’t open it,” said Degelder, a former homicide detective with the San Diego Police Department.

Sheriff’s Deputy Debra Hutchens said homeowners need to be vigilant by locking their doors, setting their home security systems, and working together to prevent crime.