Theft of Seminary Student's Car Just the Latest Criminal Activity

This 1996 Honda Accord was stolen from in front of the Sandoval residence in Heritage Lake this ...

This 1996 Honda Accord was stolen from in front of the Sandoval residence in Heritage Lake this morning.
It started out as a normal Wednesday morning for Alexis Sandoval, 17, of Menifee as she headed out the front door at 6 a.m. on her way to attend a church seminary class.

That's when she discovered something missing -- the 1996 Honda Accord she had left parked in its usual place in front of the family home.

Police took a report of the auto theft -- one of several crimes reported to Menifee 24/7 by readers and to law enforcement agencies in recent weeks. Officers told Carli Sandoval, Alexis' mother, that even if the car is recovered, it's very likely that it will be stripped.

"This stinks," Carli Sandoval said. "Alexis is such a good girl. She's trying so hard to do good things, and then this happens."

Police often repeat their warning to residents to be aware of their surroundings, keep house doors and windows and vehicles locked, and report suspicious activities. Unfortunately, that warning can't be repeated often enough for people such as Sandoval, who has seen too much of this activity in the area lately.

"Across the street, my neighbor's truck was broken into," said Sandoval about crime in her neighborhood of Heritage Lake near Menifee Road and McCall Boulevard. "I left my van unlocked once and came out to find someone had gone through it. Fortunately, I hadn't left valuables in there. A couple years ago, a neighbor had an Acura stolen."

Many area residents communicate with each other to report criminal activity through email and on social media sites. Menifee 24/7 readers use this technology to share concerns and warn residents of areas where criminal activity appears to be prevalent.

A Dec. 16 Facebook posting stated that over the previous weekend, several residents had reported vandalism of Christmas decorations in the Lazy Creek community and surrounding areas. Residents reported seeing a white truck in the area at the time of the crimes, which usually happen after midnight.

On Dec. 15, a resident posted on the Menifee 24/7 Facebook page that neighbors woke to find their Christmas decorations damaged, smashed, torn and moved in their front lawns.

On Dec. 6, a Sun City resident posted on Facebook that a 2003 club car golf cart was stolen from the residence. The golf cart has a dark green body with an ivory bench seat and an orange flag on the back. It was stolen from a neighborhood near Bradley and Newport roads.

Criminal activity involving anima