Ramona is known for being a fairly safe community – but in the past six months, the city has seen five robberies and three cases of theft.
Three of the incidents happened just this month.
“I was upset because someone had done this to a church,” said Judy Putnam, administrative assistant at the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Ramona.
Her workplace was one of the three churches hit by theft, except her church was struck twice.
Aluminum and copper was taken from three heating and air units on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Four days later, the Freon line was cut from their big unit.
“I see this as someone who’s desperate for money somebody who’s not happy with life,” Putnam said.
The thefts at the three churches were all similar incidents involving the stealing of copper and aluminum -- but these incidents are not related to the other five robberies in town.
“The last armed robbery that I remember to a business was a Chevron back in 2008 where a man robbed the store with a rifle but prior to that we have very infrequent crimes like this,” said Thomas Seiver, Detective San Diego County’s Sheriff’s Department in Ramona.
Los Rancheros Taco Shop was robbed twice in August and September. Surveillance video caught two suspects that are believed to be two Hispanic males holding a gun asking for cash.
Except in the most recent case at Ramona Lisa Beer and Wine -- this time the suspects stole checks the liquor store had just cashed and a carton of cigarettes.
The investigation is still ongoing but it’s not going to hurt the community’s holiday spirit.
“I’ve been saying because of the vandalism we have no heating and air conditioning” said Putnam. “So in the warmth of the spirit of Christmas, move closer to your neighbor.”