Thief steals La Jolla artist's 'priceless' items

Posted at 5:47 PM, Mar 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-11 21:43:24-05

La Jolla Cove is one of San Diego's most beautiful places, but a recent trip turned dark and gray for a local painter.

Cherry Sweig paints La Jolla Cove and the Children's Pool from all angles, with $500 paintbrushes that mold to her touch. Her brushes survived the 2007 wildfires.

"When my house was on fire in Poway, I grabbed my brushes and forgot my purse," she said.

However, those brushes, her tripod and sketchbook couldn't withstand the hands of a criminal. Earlier this month, after a painting session, a thief pulled at the door of her unlocked Lexus SUV outside her La Jolla Barber Tract home.

"They took my soul," Sweig said. "That's my feeling."

Sweig called San Diego police's non-emergency line, but said she couldn't get an answer for hours.

"I finally got through to somebody who said to just sign up online, so I've sent in a report online but haven't heard anything," she said.

10News has done numerous stories on police call wait times. Officials have pointed to a shortage of dispatchers contributing to delays. Police officials did not respond to 10News' requests for comment Friday.

"I have a feeling it's somebody who opened up the case and went, 'Oh well, there's nothing they can do with this,'" Sweig said.

One thing Sweig said she'd do in the future -- always lock her doors.