San Diego resident Wesley Baugh and wife have a second home in the 54000 block of Lower Pine Crest Avenue in Idyllwild. The weekend before the Fourth of July, a neighbor noticed a hole in the home’s lower level door. When the Baugh’s came up to investigate, they discovered the theft of valuable tools and tool chests, and some antique tools dating from the early 20th century that had belonged to Baugh’s grandmother. Baugh estimated the value of the tools alone at between $15,000 to $20,000 and what had been stolen would have filled two truckloads.
“When we got there we saw that drawers from a roll-top desk had been taken out and filled with other items, and lined up at the door for the next haul,” said Baugh. “The burglars did not come back but many things had been carried downstairs and were ready to be taken.”
What Baugh noticed was items that were unique or had clearly identifying marks, such as stripes Baugh had painted on some hand tools, were not taken. Baugh made a sheriff’s report and a deputy came out to dust for fingerprints. “She said she got a good set of prints from a glass cover that the burglars had removed and that it would take six to eight weeks to try to get a positive match.” Baugh theorized that, given what was taken and what was left, the burglars had some level of sophistication and may not just have been kids looking to score drug money.
He is in the process of forming a Neighborhood Watch on his part of Pine Crest. “We already have five households.” Because of how Baugh’s property and driveway are situated, it made it easier for burglars to load up without detection.
He advises getting good alarm and surveillance equipment which he has now done.
“It’s important to take steps to protect your property,” he said.