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Burglary in Del Mar Heights: Thief Steals $85K Worth of Jewelry While Homeowners Are Present

Surveillance image of thief burglarizing home for $85k worth of jewelry
Surveillance image of thief burglarizing home for $85k worth of jewelry

In an unsettling incident that unfolded on the night of May 21, 2024, in the tranquil Del Mar Heights neighborhood of San Diego, a thief managed to make off with $85,000 worth of jewelry from a townhome, all while the homeowners were present. The incident has left the community on edge and sparked a thorough investigation by the San Diego Police Department.

The Night of the Burglary

At approximately 9:40 p.m., an unidentified man was captured on video surveillance as he brazenly scaled a barrier and entered the Caniff family's townhome through an unlocked back sliding glass door. The thief's entry and actions were recorded by the home's security system, which captured clear images of him shining a flashlight at the camera.

Martin and Charisse Caniff were upstairs watching television, completely unaware of the intrusion happening downstairs. "We didn’t know it at the time, we didn’t hear him, the ring alarm didn’t go off," Martin Caniff recounted. Despite the lack of an alert, the security system provided valuable footage that is now aiding police in their investigation.

The Stolen Heirlooms

The thief's stealthy entry led him directly to the Caniff’s bedroom and bathroom, where he found and stole several irreplaceable family heirlooms. Among the stolen items were Charisse's wedding ring, a 10th-anniversary tennis bracelet, and a cherished cocktail ring meant for their grandchildren. "It’s stuff that’s so precious to us," Martin Caniff shared, expressing the emotional weight of the loss.

The Investigation

San Diego police are actively pursuing leads, bolstered by the clear visual evidence provided by the Caniffs' security camera. Captain Manny Del Toro indicated that the suspect is likely a local resident, possibly familiar to the community. "Many people could swear that [they’ve] seen that guy before," he noted, highlighting the community's involvement in identifying the suspect.

A Wake-Up Call

The Caniffs' experience has not only shaken them but also serves as a stark reminder of the importance of home security. Reflecting on the incident, Martin Caniff expressed relief that the situation did not escalate further. "What if he had decided to go somewhere in the house? We would have been in bad, bad shape," he said.

Community Alert

The San Diego Police Department urges anyone with information about the burglary to come forward. If you recognize the suspect or have any tips, please call 619-531-2000 and reference case number 24-020253. Alternatively, you can reach investigators Dona Hufford at 858-523-7025 or John Briggs at 858-523-7031.

Final Thoughts

This unsettling event in Del Mar Heights highlights the vulnerability many feel in the face of such bold criminal activity. As the investigation continues, the community's cooperation and vigilance remain crucial in bringing the perpetrator to justice and preventing future incidents. Source: Fox 5 San Diego


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