During early morning hours, beginning July 2, 2018 through July 4, 2018, several incidents of trespassing, malicious mischief, thefts from unlocked vehicles, one incident of assault with a BB gun, and three incidents of animal cruelty occurred largely in the southern portion of Phase-1 with Santa Elise as a corridor over a 48-hour period.
Each of these crimes were crimes of specific intent coupled with at least two trespassers indulging in crimes of opportunity over a two-day period. The Indio Police Department (IPD) is actively investigating several of these incidents; therefore, specific details cannot be discussed at this time. The Association is also conducting its own investigation.
It is important to note that the thefts from parked vehicles were true crimes of opportunity in that each of the vehicles was left unattended and unlocked on streets and driveways. Small personal property left inside the vehicles was easily found and taken.
The employees of the Association’s patrol company G4S located and confronted two male adult trespassers during early morning dark hours after observing them jump our perimeter walls on several occasions. While temporarily detained and awaiting the Indio Police Department’s arrival out on Avenue 40 near Madison, the two suspects jumped back into the property and disappeared in the darkness. One G4S patrol officer remained in his vehicle on Avenue 40 where the suspects jumped the wall should they return the same way, while other G4S patrol officers dispatched searched the neighborhood within the wall. At this time, he heard several shots from a BB gun and his vehicle’s back window shattered. He did not see the source of the shots and was uninjured. G4S patrol officers continued to look for the suspects until IPD arrived and took over the search.
Three dead ducks were found by members of the maintenance team and it appeared they had been shot with a BB gun as well.
The IPD is currently investigating these incidents. Reflecting on these incidents there are important lessons to be learned.
- If you park your vehicles outdoors, then ensure your vehicles are secured and locked. Do not keep small valuables such as personal electronics, purses, wallets, coins, and cash in plain sight or hidden within your vehicle.
- If you see something, say something! In other words, if you see someone near your home or walking within your neighborhoods who does not appear to belong here call the Indio Police Department immediately, and then the G4S patrol at the Front Gates at 760-345-4458. Also, if you see someone suspicious do not approach them as you do not know their mental state or whether they are armed.
- The G4S patrol officers are unarmed and have no more powers to arrest someone than you do, so please beware of your expectations of them. The primary purpose of GS4 is to patrol the Association for governing document violations; they cannot be everywhere all the time.
Below is a brief synopsis of the reported incidents on and around July 4th, listed times on this synopsis are the time the incidents were reported to Security.
08:37 Vehicle Burglary reported on Camino San Lucas, vehicle was left unlocked for 3 days in driveway, minor items stolen – 5 pairs sun glasses, iPod Nano, $20.00 cash.
10:16 Vehicle burglary reported on Camino San Lucas, interior ransacked, no sign of forced entry, most likely vehicle left unlocked. Minor items taken – gift cards and phone chargers. Homeowner (H/O) declined to make police report.
04:35 2 trespassers spotted on Camino Piscina in phase 3,
1st suspect described as possibly Asian male approximately 19 years, wearing black hooded sweatshirt, Black pants and black backpack.
2nd suspect described as Hispanic male, approximately 19 years, wearing grey hooded sweatshirt, black pants and black backpack.
Patrol instructed gate to call Indio Police Dept. (IPD), then approached and spoke to the individuals who initially claimed they were staying on property but couldn’t remember where or who with. They were told that they were trespassing, and both agreed to leave. Patrol followed them along NSCB towards Madison, they then broke into a run and jumped over the wall to the left of Madison Gate out onto Madison and turned left towards Ave 40. Patrol followed suspects (who were still on foot) to 40th were they turned left onto 40th heading east. Shortly after they again jumped the perimeter wall on to Avenida Tres Lagunas. Second patrol unit began looking inside community for the suspects while first unit waited outside close to the location where they originally crossed the wall. At this point the first patrol heard several shots that sounded to him like a BB gun and a moment later the passenger side rear window shattered into the back of the truck. Patrols continued to look for the suspects until IPD arrived at 05:15 and took over the search. Last sighting of the suspects was by a Troon employee who saw them leave the property via the golf course maintenance yard on to 40th heading west.
06:30 Patrol received information that there was a burned American flag on Santa Elise. Patrol drove along Santa Elise and found the burned flag on Santa Elise, H/O had no idea who had done this or when. They also found vandalized Cacti on Santa Elise. All H/O were called and informed or messages were left.
08:30 Guest of a house on Ave San Ignacio reported her vehicle had been broken into but went on to admit it was left unlocked, Guest reported a wallet taken from inside a purse left in vehicle containing her id cards, credit cards and approximately $1000.00 in cash. She was encouraged to call IPD to report the incident but as of 7/6 had not done so.
08:30 H/O on Santa Elise reported that daughter’s car was vandalized during the night, an obscene word was scratched into the rear bumper cover. Vehicle was not opened, nothing taken. H/O reported to IPD.
09:29 H/O on Camino Santa Elise reported her husband truck was broken into sometime after midnight and before 09.00 July 4th. Could not answer whether vehicle was locked and did not mention anything missing from truck. IPD was at the scene when patrol arrived taking report.
11:30 Main Gate received call from H/O on Avenida Santa Marta reporting vehicle burglary. Patrol arrived on scene approximately 11:50. Owner reports interior was ransacked between 21:20 the night before and 11:00am July 4th. Only $5.00 in change was reported missing, expensive earphones and designer sunglasses worth $300.00 were still in vehicle. Patrol recommended reporting to IPD.
16:55 Patrol responded to a home on Santa Elise to take a report of a vehicle broken into on July 4th, H/O reported the vehicle was unlocked due to a faulty door lock, interior was ransacked but only some loose change was stolen. House keys and vehicle registration were still in the vehicle.
17:15 Patrol responded to a call on Calle Santa Sofia, 2 cactus plants had been damaged, patrol also found an ADT alarm sign and a torn open box in the front yard that did not belong to the H/O. An address on the box led them to Avenida Santa Belinda, owner was missing a delivery that should have been left on her doorstep. Box was missing approximately $40.00 worth of cosmetics.
Unspecified time Maintenance informed patrol that early on the morning of the 4th there were 3 ducks found in the north channel that had been shot with a BB gun. Maintenance staff removed the bodies and disposed of them.
09:15 Guest on Camino Santa Juliana reported a vehicle burglary. Interior was searched, and trunk was opened but nothing was taken from the vehicle.
Note on July 4th we had 6 incidents involving vandalism and 5 vehicle burglaries.
The incident on the 2nd with the 2 trespassers who used the BB gun to smash the patrol truck window ties in with the incident on the morning of the 4th where 3 ducks were killed using a BB gun. This is the principal reason that Indio PD believe each of these incidents have been committed by the same 2 people.