School Zones Are Police Focus

LA MESA -- Police are offering trips for making the drop off zones around schools less chaotic and safer for pedestrians and motorists.

See Traffic Information below.

Case Highlights: On September 7th, 2014 at approximately 8:20 PM, the Travelodge Motel located at 7911 University Avenue, La Mesa, was robbed by a suspect armed with a black handgun. An employee was working alone at the front desk of the Motel when an unknown suspect ran into the lobby and went behind the desk while brandishing a black handgun. The suspect demanded cash and then took an undisclosed amount from the cash drawer. The suspect fled out the front door and ran eastbound onto University Avenue. Officers searched the area but were unable to locate the suspect.
The suspect is described as a black male adult, approximately 5’10” tall with a muscular build. The suspect was wearing a black watch cap, red bandana over his face, black pants and shoes, light colored gloves and a dark colored t-shirt with a white logo on the front chest.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the La Mesa Police Department at (619) 667-1400. You may also call Crime Stoppers’ anonymous toll-free tip line (888) 580- TIPS (or ).
You can remain anonymous, and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 for information in this case.
Traffic Information: Back to School season is a busy and exciting time, a time for fun and learning. It should not be a time for tragedy. As parents prepare to provide their kids with the essential school supplies and textbooks, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) encourages them to educate themselves and their children about proper safety precautions before heading back to the classroom. August is designated as Back to School Safety Month, with the aim of promoting traffic safety among parents and children of all ages who walk, ride their bicycle, take the bus, or are driven to and from school.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 95 children under the age of 14 were killed in traffic related crashes in California in 2012. NHTSA also reports that an average of three children ages 14 and younger were killed and 462 were injured every day in the United States in motor vehicle crashes during that same year. The following safe walking, bicycling and driving practices can only be effective if parents teach their kids early and often, and set good examples themselves:
Reminders for Parents and Guardians:
 Plan Ahead. Plot your route and give yourself a few extra minutes to accommodate possible commute delays during mornings and afternoons. Apply any makeup and eat breakfast before you leave your house in the morning to avoid distractions while on the road.
 Exercise Caution Around Schools and Neighborhoods. Given the increase in pedestrian and bike traffic, drivers should always follow the posted speed limit inside school zones, which is often 25 mph maximum but may be as low as 15 mph. Keep an eye out for any children in the area.
 Drop Off Zones. Be extra aware around school drop off zones, and make sure your kids are, too. Too many parents are in a hurry to leave and don't watch for other children.
 Cell Phone Use. If you must use your phone, pull over into a parking spot when it is safe to do so. * “Officer Initiated” refers to a situation when an officer observes what is believed to be criminal activity and responds accordingly.
Reminders for Kids:
 Biking or Walking to School. If you have a child that will be biking or walking to school, make sure they know the safest route, are familiar with traffic signals and signs, and remind them to stop and look both ways to make sure no cars are coming before using crosswalks. Children must also always wear a properly fitted helmet if he or she is riding a bike or skateboard; it's the law.
 Riding a School Bus. If your child rides a school bus, make sure that he or she knows to remain seated at all times, to keep the aisles clear, not to throw objects, not to shout or distract the driver, and to keep his or her hands and arms inside of the bus.
 When a school bus stops to load or unload passengers and its red lights are flashing, all vehicles must stop -- in both directions. If the bus stop is on a divided highway, then only those vehicles approaching from the rear must stop.
"Following these tips will help ensure that you and your children remain as safe as possible not only in the beginning of the school season, but throughout the rest of year," said Craft. "Children are our most valuable and precious possessions -- let's provide them with the knowledge they'll need to keep themselves safe."
Crime Prevention/Emergency Preparedness: Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. Protect yourself before you become a victim. Shred all documents with personal or banking information. Keep your information private: Do not give out your personal information on the phone or E-mail, even if the caller or E-mail seems to be from your financial institution. Call the number on your statements to verify any request.
Shop safely online: Online shopping is fast, convenient, and sometimes cheaper. Just make sure you’re shopping on secured sites that are reputable before you provide your credit card information. Information you provide to online banking and shopping sites should be encrypted and the site's URL should begin with https. Some browsers have an icon representing a lock at the lower right of the browser window.
Monitor your credit report: You are entitled to a copy of your credit report from each major credit-reporting agency free of charge once every year. Keep an eye on your credit report. Pay attention to all statements and bills for transaction accuracy. Report any discrepancies to the financial institution immediately. Some things may be out of your control but good common sense measures can go a long way to protect yourself and your identity.
Department Information:
Help solve a cold Homicide case:

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Tags: Crime, Government, La Mesa Today, La Mesa newspaper, Weekly Crime Report


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Comment by Iris Hix on September 11, 2014 at 4:22pm
I am glad this article has been posted because school traffic is very real, daily danger that all kids/families deal with at pick up and drop off. The city has been working to get Safe Routes to School Programs implemented at most schools in La Mesa. Now the school community must run the programs and this can only happen successfully with the help of volunteers and support from the PTA. Kids love walking to school safely, with everyones help they can!

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