Kidnapping Crank Calls — South Bay Beware!
By Barbara Zaragoza
Eastern Chula Vista, in particular the area around “The Woods,” has a rumored reputation of having kidnappings. The Chula Vista Police Department has not been able to confirm these claims — but the stereotype came to a head this week when a resident in a Rolling Hills Ranch home received a telephone call from a “Private” number.
She answered, “Hello, Jane speaking.” (We’ll call her Jane because she would prefer to be anonymous.)
For several moments she only heard a rattling, then crying. Someone sounded like they were in distress. Then she heard, “Help me! Help me!”
Jane asked, “Are you ok? Where are you?”
Suddenly, a man came on the line and said, “Jane, we have your family member. Do you want to help your family member?”
Jane was shaken and frightened.
Then, the man said, “I have your daughter.”
At that point, Jane said, “Oh you have my daughter?” She hung up. Jane only has sons.
The man continued to call four or five more times. Jane answered only once more and the man became aggressive, saying, “Do you want her to die? She’s gonna die. Listen to me carefully.”
I am reporting on this story because we all need to be aware. As Jane explains, “It’s just scary that we can be that vulnerable.”
Seems like a lot of South Bay crime this week
- A man with a face and neck tattoo attempted to snatch an 11-year-old child off an Imperial Beach street last week. A man inside a pickup truck hopped out and tried to grab the child. The child, luckily, escaped and ran off. (Times of San Diego)
- A 92-year-old woman was robbed and killed in her National City home last Saturday. The suspect was described as being of Asian descent in his 30s or 40s. If you have any information, please call the National City Police Department. (Imperial Beach Patch)
- A driver was stabbed in a road rage incident in Chula Vista. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- CVPD found explosives, weapons and drugs in a Chula Vista apartment on Monday. Apparently, the tenant tossed a burning shirt onto gasoline containers and then ran from the building just before neighbors heard explosions. (Imperial Beach Patch)
- A pair of thieves assaulted an employee at the South Bay Drive-In Theater and stole the cash register. (Imperial Beach Patch)
- Borderland Beat reported the State Preventative Police found 122 kilos of crystal and an arsenal of weapons in a stash house located in Colonia La Cienega, La Mesa. In addition, the Army and PEP found a narco tunnel near the Tijuana airport last week. Sandra Dibble at the Union Tribune describes how the 600 year tunnel had metal rails and lighting.
Watch your water
The San Diego City Council voted to approve the plan for recycled wastewater. “Pure Water San Diego” program hopes to create a stable, local supply of drinkable water. The Times of San Diego has more. Voice of San Diego reported on some of the potential problems, in particular that San Diegans might not have enough sewage to use for the project.
Send your comments on the Otay River Estuary
Poseidon Water, the company who created the new desalination plant in Carlsbad, is required to fund a restoration project to mitigate the environmental effects of their plant. They’ve decided to come down to the South Bay and restore the Otay River Estuary. The project should restore about 125 acres of coastal habitat. Comments are being solicited and the Swiss Club will host a public meeting on November 7th. The San Diego Union Tribune has more.
The Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce had two interesting reports this week:
- “Trade and truck crossings are up in Otay Mesa. Truck traffic increased by 6% in Otay Mesa, imports by .45% and exports by 1.86% brining our annual indicator of trade flowing though Otay Mesa to 44.43 billion dollars, a record.”
- “The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that U.S. taxpayers with maquiladora operations in Mexico will not be exposed to double taxation if they enter into a unilateral advance pricing agreement (APA).”
- As our binational region continues to expand, the Otay Chamber does an exceptional job of informing the public about what’s happening at the Otay border. An extra perk if you get on their newsletter: they’re often listing a wide array of employment opportunities — which possibly debunks the myth that no jobs exist in the South Bay and residents must leave every morning to go north for work.
News by cities:
- A company hired by the city will use Segway technology to determine the condition of sidewalks and pedestrian ramps. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- As part of the Chula Vista Bayfront master plan, the Port of San Diego issued a request for proposals for the development of a first class Destination Recreational Vehicle Park.
- The Chula Vista Star News took a look at Steve Padilla, former mayor and councilman currently running for city council District 3.
- The County of San Diego was hand-spraying a Chula Vista neighborhood after someone in the area contracted the Zika virus while traveling. Yikes! Here are the details. (County News Center)
- Maya Srikrishnan at Voice of San Diego added more information about the sales tax measure on the Chula Vista ballot, including an interview with Mayor Mary Salas.
- The two National City School District charter schools will present a “bad report card” to the board of trustees. Only 17% of Beacon Classical Academy meed or exceed standards in English language arts and only 6% meet or exceed the standards in math. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- The Port of San Diego will finally process with an environmental review for the redevelopment of the National City Marine Terminal. Marty Graham at the San Diego Reader reports on the on-going push for National City residents to have a family friendly park rather than an industrial zone along their marina.
- The Chula Vista Star News interviewed Jose Rodriguez, running for National City Council.
- At the Sweetwater Union High School District board meeting on Monday, October 24th, a group presented a proposal to open a Charter School in San Ysidro. The idea met with positive and negative public comments. I was there and I’ll be reporting more as this develops.
- A fire at the Travel Lodge occurred on Wednesday, October 26th in the evening. No injuries were reported. However, families with children attending local schools live there and had to be displaced. (NBC 7)
- KPBS writes about how an MTS lawsuit over a doorway creates hassles for San Ysidro passengers.
- The city wants to install pedestrian lighting along sections of Palm Avenue and Seacoast Drive. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- Surfrider is holding a binational surf competition on November 6th. (Press Release)
- The South Bay Historical Society will host Mike & Patricia McCoy at the Chula Vista Public Library Auditorium on Thursday, November 3rd at 6pm. The McCoys saved the Tijuana Estuary from destruction in the 1970s and 80s. As a consequence, Border Field State Park is the largest coastal wetland in Southern California not crossed by a freeway. The Event is FREE. (Disclosure: I’m a board member of SBHS.)
- Voice of San Diego reported about Syrian refugees who have been detained at the Otay Mesa facility for seven months. Read about their harrowing journey to find asylum.
- KPBS reported that California’s marijuana has created a southbound smuggling of drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border.
- And oh no! Alex Zaragoza at NPR reported that the artisan market near the SY Port of Entry on the Tijuana side might be demolished.
- And here’s a comprehensive article about what so many of us wonder about at the border — how will Prop 64 (the legalization of marijuana) impact San Diego’s border and the drug war? Kristina Davis has the story at the San Diego Union Tribune.
Want to know more about your candidates before the elections?
The Albondigas Political Society will host candidates to speak for one minute on Friday, November 4th at 11:45am. The event will be facilitated by Mickey Kasparian, Laura Fink and John Dadian. San Diego Port Commissioner Rafael Castellanos will facilitate.