San Diego Police Department

Police: Elderly Woman Keys Dozens of Cars in Scripps Ranch

“I thought it was just teenagers who were bored,” one neighbor said, “I never thought of her.”

Police say a senior citizen is to blame for vandalizing dozens of cars in a Scripps Ranch neighborhood.

The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) arrested Emilia Bello, 75, late Sunday after one of her neighbors said she watched the elderly woman allegedly key her car.

For months cars parked along Legacy Road in Scripps Ranch have been getting keyed on the passenger side. The scratches range in size and severity but cumulatively the damage is in the tens of thousands of dollars, police said. 

“We saw that there’s a scratch on the car, it’s like, ‘what’s going on?’ “ said Josie Ausdria, a neighbor.

Ausdria said six cars that belong to members of her family were vandalized starting in mid-January.

But she said the biggest shock was that a woman of Bello's age could potentially be the culprit. 

“I thought it was just teenagers who were bored,” Ausdria said. “I never thought of her.”

Bello was arrested late Sunday and booked into jail on felony vandalism charges.

Neighbors added they frequently see Bello walking around the neighborhood. 

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