San Diego

Large Rocks Lobbed at MTS Trolleys in Multiple Felony Cases

Since early June 2017, there have been 19 reported cases of rocks being thrown at trolley cars along the Orange Line route

There have been multiple cases of large rocks being lobbed at moving MTS trolleys, causing a significant amount of damage, according to Crime Stoppers.

Investigators from the San Diego Police Department's Southeastern Division have asked for the community to report anyone connected with these felonies.

MTS officials have discovered 19 separate cases of rocks being thrown at trolley cars along the Orange Line route since early June 2017.

Throwing objects at a trolley goes beyond vandalism, investigators said. It is considered a felony crime since the rocks could have broken through the glass and seriously injured the driver or passengers onboard.

According to Crime Stoppers, these incidents left the trolleys with cracked windshields and side windows, broken lights and visible dents.

The rocks were thrown from various points between Downtown San Diego and La Mesa. According to Crime Stoppers, 11 of these cases took place in Southeastern San Diego.

Some of the locations include 68th Street and Akins Avenue in the Encanto area, 43rd and K Street in Mt. Hope area, 47th Street trolley stop in the Lincoln Park area and the Euclid Avenue trolley stop in the Chollas View area.

Crime Stoppers officials said the most recent incidents took place at the 54th Street pedestrian crossing near 54th and Market streets in the Valencia Park area.

All of the cases involved one or more suspect chucking large rocks at moving trolley cars.

Modesto Garcia takes the trolley every day. He uses the Euclid station of the Orange Line and said he has personally been on the trolley when rocks have been thrown at the moving car. He explained in Spanish to NBC 7, the rocks have sometimes been the size of a golf ball.

MTS spokesman, Rob Schupp said the rocks are usually thrown at trolley cars that are passing dark and rural areas across the city.

"People up on canyon ledges where there are rocks supplied," said Schupp. "People on bridges are doing this."

In total, the collective damages amount to more than $40,000.

"It costs us a lot of money that we could be putting into service and expanding our service," Schupp said.

MTS officials said that various types of vandalism cost about $1 million per year for the trolleys alone. The windows represent just a quarter of those expenses.

Anyone with information related to these incidents can call police at (619)527-3500 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888)580-8477. A reward up to $1,000 is available for tips that help lead to an arrest.

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