Park Crime Wave Draws More Police

From a Times Staff Writer

Reacting to a two-week crime wave in Balboa Park, San Diego Police Chief Bob Burgreen announced Friday that he will immediately deploy extra police patrols to foil nighttime assaults and robberies on Marston Point.

Burgreen blamed the crime rampage--10 robberies and five assaults in the park’s southwest corner since Sept. 27--on a band of 15 to 30 illegal aliens who stake out their victims and escape from police by running down hillsides and through traffic on California 163.

“It is one group of people who, you might say, (constitutes) organized crime in Balboa Park,” Burgreen said.

Burgreen said the Police Department isn’t interested in picking up the suspects for deportation to Mexico, because many of them return in a matter of days to roam the park. Instead, he said, police want to “catch people in the act” of committing felonies so they can be put into jail.


The police chief, however, declined to say what tactics the extra patrols will be using. “You’re probably going to see in the neighborhood of a dozen officers in a variety of garb and vehicles,” he said.