Sheriff is looking for a person at risk in San Elijo Hills

UPDATE: DEREK HAS BEEN FOUND SAFE….He was found near La Plaza Dr East of Lake San Marcos

The Sheriff is looking for a person at risk, Derek, from San Elijo Hills. He is Asian American, with glasses and brown hair. Derek was previously missing in 2009 and was located above Lake San Marcos near the radio tower after an extensive search. He is missing again! Please call 911 if he is sighted.


  • This person should never be left alone, without adult supervision!
    It is irresponsible of the parents to let this occur multiple times.
    He has the capacity of a child and should be treated as such.

    The parents should be held accountable to the police for neglect and responsible for the financial cost of a helicopter hovering for his whereabouts. Thank God we have the resources to find him.

    Meanwhile, there is a car theft or burglary here in SEH almost everyday. Where are the police?

  • Seems this child should be in the care of professionals since he goes missing repeatedly. I agree, the parents should be held accountable for the repeated costs involved in recovering him. Perhaps there are financial repercussions and we are not aware. Hope so because we as tax taxpayers are paying for the repeated search & rescue attempts. BTW, thank GOD Derek was recovered safely. Memo to his parents – do everything in your power to ensure his safety. He needs to wear a GPS device….

    With regard to the police, I could not agree more. Rarely do I see police cars patrolling the streets of San Marcos. With stranger danger alerts, burglaries in SEH, robberies at gunpoint at Chevron, etc., etc., we need more of a presence within SEH. A sherrif’s substation is long over due.

    I did see two motorcyle cops issuing tickets near Chevron this past week! That’s a start……the speeding on SE Road is insane.

  • no cops patrol the town for care break-ins and theft. yet cars are CONSTANTLY being towed from in front of the garages by Rancho Del Oro towing. i was towed for leaving my car in front of my garage for 45 minutes while i was getting my child ready to leave.

    • Follow the $$. There’s profit in towing your car. The only profit in break ins goes to the criminal.

      Of course, the excuse we’ll get is “they’re different areas of responsibility”.

      Which is why you see speeding enforcement on the downside of Twin Oaks right at the bottom of the hill: because there’s $$ in that too.

  • it’s BS. cost me almost 400 bucks to get my car back. a neighbor of mine told me they stake out the developments, looking for cars “parked” in the fire lanes, ie, IN FRONT OF MY GARAGE. it’s a crock of sh*t. it’s predatory and stalking behavior the way they look for cars to tow.

    • It’s what they have a financial incentive to do. IMO, it’s legalized theft.

      Same thing for the enforcement on the other side of the hill, where no-one is endangered (the other side of the road is a quarry), as opposed to @ Questhaven or Schoolhouse. They have a higher probability of writing the tickjed wher ethe speed limit goes from 50 to 45 and there’s a steep downgrade, so they sit there, instead of where they can deter speeders in a place where it matters for safety.

      It’s all about the $$.

    • FYI: I’ve had far more taken from me in the name of parking fines and speeding fines than has ever been stolen from me.

      So who, exactly, is being protected and served?

      P.S. I haven’t had so much as a parking ticket in over 3 years, but I still bristle at the emphasis on parking and speeding, while guys like Gardner roam free.

  • To N: in most of teh condo communities, the areas in front of garages are fire lanes and it’s against the CC&Rs to park there. I’m against predatory towing, but unfortunately rules are rules. 45 minutes is a long time to park in a fire lane. Why not just pull into your garage?

    • My guess: Like most of us who have kids, N’s garage is full of kid stuff, outdoor stuff, etc., and has no room for a car.

      I’d really like the explanation why the area in front of your own garage is a fire lane, but the one in front of your house is not.

      • I’ve asked the fire department that question before. They’ve said that it’s because the condo garage alleyways are relatively narrow, and a car parked there could prevent a fire truck from getting through if needed. That’s if N is in a condo. I don’t know that this would be an issue in a single family home.

      • All I know is, in front of your driveway, any driveway, is a tow zone. You can’t even block your own driveway in a single family home. I’ve had guests warned about it by the Sheriff while we were in front of my house loading up for a Baja trip.

  • well, it’s insightful to know that the fire lanes exist so that the driveway is wide enough for a fire truck to pass through. but it’s the lack of concern for the human condition AND the predatory towing that angers me. i mean, how about a courtest knock on the door. granted they wouldn’t make money that way but at least they’d be towing the people who really need to be towing — those who left their cars there for who-knows-how-long. and they’d be doing their job in good conscience. what if i had medical supplies in there that i needed? what if i had something in my car that really was urgent and i went out there and my car is gone? it’s really awful and effed up the way they are handling it. and it comes down to the bottom line: stealing people’s car and their money.

    • concerned local

      You deserved to get towed.

      Maneuvering around those alley ways with cars parked in the fire lanes, impedes the traffic, emergency vehicles and accessibility for people living in the area to get out and about.

      Park in your garage! So much easier!

      All CC&R’s in SEH state…”Garage is for cars first”…Cr*p second.
      Get rid of “keepsakes’ on craigslist! You’ll be happier without all the baggage.

      • Towed = $400, plus the loss of your car for one work day, and if on Friday, until Monday. What, exactly, about parking in front of your own garage merits that punishment?

        To put it in perspective: Speeding over 20 miles over the speed limit, a misdemeanor, has the same basic punishment.

        When the tow companies get a cut of the fee, the incentives to abuse are obvious, even when the tow zones make sense.

        When the tow zones make no sense, as in in front of your own garage, it’s just legalized theft.

      • And the CC&Rs were written by people who have never lived here.

        Now that we have a board of people who do, we can set about changing them.

        Currently, we have a one-size fits-all set of cc&rs. Hopefully, we can make them more appropriate for each neighborhood where there is a separate association, and make the master association more responsive to the community.

        I can see where parking in the street in Morgans corner might be an issue, but there’s no way most families with kids can fit all our sports gear, seasonal stuff, yard equipment, and 3 cars in our garages and driveways. There is also no reason we should have to, in our single family neighborhoods with roads so wide the Fire Department has decided no fire lanes are necessary.

        If it isn’t causing a safety hazard or an eyesore (which is covered by the city rule on not parking for more than 48 hours on any city street), then who cares?

        We really have much bigger problems in SEH, like the “non core” landscaping, which looks like a battle zone; the semi developed lots, ibid; the abandoned but not repossessed homes; the crater where we were promised a heart; the willful destruction of property values paid for in lot premiums by view obstructing landscaping; and the escalating water bill, most of which runs off over the rocks where there should be soil.

        I’m sure you have a different list. Let’s find the things we agree on, and move forward, and stop advocating bad things happening (being towed) to our neighbors for just living their lives.

      • The SEH neighborhoods with sub-associations do have their own CC&Rs, unique to their neighborhoods.

  • i don’t know what development you live in but cars are hardly parked in the fire lanes where i live. it’s a once in a blue moon occurance and when it does happen, you give that person the benefit of the doubt — not jump down their throat with “You deserved to get towed.”

    • It may be a rare occurrence, but if one person parking in a fire lane keeps one fire truck from responding in time to one fire, it’s one time too many. That having been said, it should be common courtesy for the towing company to at least make an attempt to ask you to move the car before towing you.

    • concerned local

      I really doubt the towing company was acting in a predatory manner.

      Considering you felt comfortable to leave your car there for 45 mins unattended, I sincerely doubt this was a -one time- occurrence. I am more inclined to believe your neighbor reported you violating the CC&R’s and got fed up. Someone in your vicinity taught you an expensive lesson.

      Hey, similar experience happen to me back in the 90’s in NYC. I ran into a bodega for 3 mins and my car got towed with my purse. Thought it was stolen! Had a goose chase around the city, with no wallet or cellphone. My car ended being in some seedy lot in the Bronx. I learned the hard way. Follow the rules.

    • N, you don’t understand this blog. The core constituency are “Jump down your throat” people.

      You can tell when I’m working on a server by my posting frequency (servers take moments of attention followed by hours of boredom), but most of the posters here just seem to make sport out of being nasty.

      Sorry about your loss. If you plan on moving up at some point, I’d advocate a place without a HOA.

  • To concernlocal: it’s kinda presumptuous to assume that this wasn’t a one-time occurrance. in fact, it was. and i also know for a fact that Rancho Del Oro towing does patrol the communities looking for cars to tow. my neighbor has had his car outside his garage while washing it and they’ve around to give him beef about it. they’ve been spotting in various areas, just sitting in their tow trucks, waiting. much like a cop car would wait to catch a speeder.

    • How does that make it wrong? Laws are laws, and rules are rules. People know speeding is wrong, and if they get caught by a waiting patrol car, they have no right to complain. If you know that parking in a fire zone is against the CC&Rs, how can you complain when you get caught doing it?

      • SEH so I guess you’ve never inhaled, driven over .08, watered your lawn more than twice a week this year…..

        All of the above are illegal too, most with far more drastic consequences, for the REAL world, not the perp if the y get caught, than up-kurbing to your own garage.

        And seriously, do you think parking in front of your garage merits a $400 fine, and the loss of your car for a day?

  • they should only tow when they get a call about the violation.the towing company shouldn’t be patroling at their own accord — that isn’t their job. it isn’t their job to patrol and enforce the law.

    • concerned local

      Umm N….

      Read the signs as you enter you neighborhood. It goes something along the lines….”Cars in violation will be towed by Rancho Del Toro”
      The tow truck company is under contract with the HOA to keep the fire lanes clear.

      Also, I live in a townhouse here, for 6yrs, and have never seen a tow truck waiting around. It only comes when the security patrol call or a resident.

      You know N…I just may be your neighbor, and I wouldn’t want your car outside illegally parked.

      Also the reason why there are fire lanes in the alleys as opposed to the front of your house, the emergency personnel need flat accessibility to haul you out in a gurney, if need be. Most townhomes have stairs up/down or both to get to your front door.

    • Rancho Del Oro tow doesn’t take AAA.

      I was stalled in the Albertson’s parking lot, and they happened by, and towed me, for $150, to Hoehn in Carlsbad. That’s $80 more than the AAA rate, and I had to give them a CC, which they took AFTER the car was hooked up, which is when they gave me the quote.

      So, they aren’t a legit “rescue tow” company who also happens to do trespass tow. They are predators who look for marks.

      That they are the contract tow company says a lot about who hired them (Walters).

  • The development that i got towed from does not ANYWHERE in the signage around the development say that Rancho Del Oro towing is who will be towing and who will have my car. when i discovered that my car was gone, i called the HOA. the answering service picked up (it was a sunday) and told me that she has no information on who would have towed my car and that she can leave a message for the HOA people for the next morning. are you effing kidding me? i told her i need my car ASAP and that i demand to know who tows cars from _____ development. she then told me to call the sheriff and that when a car gets towed, the company has to register it with the sheriff’s dept. i called them and they told me it was RDO towing.

    • I checked out Morgans Corner on the way home from work tonite. There are signs at both entrances saying that illegally parked vehicles will be towed by Rancho del Oro. And their toll-free phone number is on the sign.

  • everyone is in cahoots with everyone else. i’ve herad from a few sources that last year when they repainted our fire lanes, RDO towing offered a service to paint for free with the understanding that RDO towing would be the towing company of choice.

    • Seems like something that should be brought up at the next HOA meeting. Hope to see you there.

      • If it’s a sub-association violation, it should be brought up at the sub-association board meeting.

      • AFAIK, N is posting about towing from a single family, non sub-association, area. I agree that, if it is something specific to a sub-association, that is the correct venue.

        However, since there have been missives from Walters about parking in driveways and on the street, I get the impression that there is someone who wants our streets to be empty.

      • Good point. I’ve assumed that N is in a condo, which is where the garage alleys are specpfically marked as fire lanes. If he/she would indicate what community we’re talking about, it might clarify things.

  • i need to do a better job remembering all this bureaucratic BS: sub-associations, CC&Rs, HOA rules, etc, etc, etc.

    • Are the rules really that difficult to remember? There’s a big red stripe outside your garage that says “No Parking, Fire Zone.” I’d have alot more sympathy for your plight if you accepted at least the slightest bit of responsibility for it.

      • There’s no big red stripe in front of my garage, but I’ve been told by the Sheriff that it’s a tow zone anyway.

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