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The Paper - Escondido San Marcos North County
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Escondido Arson Suspect Sought

Between August, 2009, and November, 2010, the Escondido Police Department has responded to and investigated nine fires of suspicious origin. Most of these fires were limited to cypress trees in the front yards of residential property. During some of the fires, damage was done to nearby structures and vehicles.

Investigators from the Escondido Police Department and Escondido Fire Department believe these fires could be the result of an arsonist. At this point, there have been no injuries as a result of these fires, but the concern is that many of these fires have occurred near occupied residences and future fires could endanger the safety of people living nearby.

The fires are being started during the early morning hours: typically between 1:00 AM and 4:30 AM. They have been at multiple residences located between Washington Avenue and Lincoln Avenue and between Fig Street and Rose Street. There is no suspect information available at this time.

Escondido Police Investigators are asking anyone with information on the identity of the person responsible for this crime to call Detective Marco Sevilla at (760) 839-4794 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. A reward of up to $2,000 is available for information on this case. Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest in this case. An additional reward of up to $1,000 from the Arson Reward Fund is available for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case. Anonymous email and text messages can be sent in via

Local Residents Assist in Mississippi Rebuilding Efforts from Katarina

International Relief Teams’ construction volunteers who have been stationed in Mississippi provided carpentry, roofing, plumbing and drywall services to homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Volunteers have been working in Pascagoula, Gautier, Moss Point and Ocean Springs for the past week. This is the 30th team International Relief Teams has deployed to Mississippi, to assist with re-construction efforts. Since March 2006, International Relief Teams has deployed 445 construction volunteers who have repaired more than 185 homes and additional teams are scheduled for deployment every other month in 2011.

Local team members include: Chris Read (Escondido); Larry Saunders (San Marcos); Danny Sherlock (Carlsbad); and Steve Walsh (Escondido).

Stabbing at Carlsbad Motel

On Saturday evening, November 20th, at approximately 11:50pm, the Carlsbad Communication Center received a 911 call from a security guard at the Motel 6 reporting a stabbing. The security guard stated the 28 year old male victim had been stabbed several times. When officers arrived, they located the victim on the sidewalk. The victim was flown to Scripps Hospital, La Jolla for treatment. At this time it is unknown if his wounds were life threatening.

The suspect fled from the Motel 6 in an unknown dark colored SUV. Officer checked the area for the suspects with negative results. The suspects are described as a white male, an Hispanic male and a white female.

The Carlsbad Police Department’s Crimes of Violence Unit were called to the scene and are conducting the investigation.

Cocina del Charro to Move

Cocina del Charro, one of Escondido’s longtime family owned restaurants will be moving to a new location next spring. Their new location will be in the shopping center where Barnes and Noble’s book store is located and will be occupying space previously occupied by Baja Fresh and Pizzeria Uno.

The present location, at 525 N. Quince, has been home to a number of civic and service club organizations, including the Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club, Sunrise Rotary, the Escondido Republican Club and many other organizations.

The Escondido location is managed by Fernando Monforte, and the San Marcos location is managed by his brother, Erik.

The brother’s father, Jose Monforte opened the restaurant around 1978; both Mr. and Mrs. Monforte have pretty much retired by now, letting the day to day managerial duties fall to their sons. Periodically, however, you’ll see Jose, and sometimes his wife, pop in for a meal and visits with long time customers. The new site is 7,000-square-foot in size and will comfortable expand the restaurant’s ability to service even larger groups.

More Explosives Found in Escondido

Just when neighbors in the northwestern area of Escondido thought all of the excitement was over, Sheriff’s bomb squad personnel found another large cache of explosives inside the home and halted work due to the extreme danger.

They had safely destroyed pounds of the material in the backyard over the previous two days. The sheriff’'s bomb and arson squad had been working the scene on Via Scott but they are now planning on how to handle the volatile situation.

There were reportedly "several large containers" of hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, or HMTD, found among tubes and solvents in the home's living room About nine pounds of the explosive white powder had been previously found in six glass jars in the backyard. The bomb squad thought they had found and destoryed it all, until they located the new explosives inside the house itself.

Even a couple of grams of this substance can produce a dangerous blast. Because of this danger, two Via Scott homes remained evacuated Sunday.

This story developed when authorities discovered the explosives after gardener Mario Garcia, 49, triggered a backyard blast that shook the neighborhood and injured his left eye and arm.

Sheriff's deputies arrested the home's tenant, George Djura Jakubec, 54, on suspicion of illegally manufacturing and possessing explosives, sheriff's officials said Thursday.

Jakubec is being held on $100,000 bail.

Bar Suspensions in Oceanside A Sign of Vigilance

Firewater Saloon and Pier View Pub have lost their alcohol privileges for 20 and30 days, respectively.

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in October suspended the alcohol licenses for both Pier View Pub and Firewater Saloon, both located on Pier View Way as a result of a stem from a sting operation in May by the ABC and Oceanside police into reports that bartenders at both locations were selling marijuana.

A similar sting operation hit seven Escondido bars just recently.

Both ABC and local police officials throughout North County say such undercover investigations and subsequent sting operations are likely to continue until bar and night club owners get the firm message that they need to control their employees and patrons when it comes to both alcohol and narcotics abuse. Anecdotal reports suggest crime is decrasing in the areas addressed. Area Chamber of Commerce officials hailed the enforcement as a positive action for their communities.


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