Brazen, Bizarre and Shocking Crimes Caught on Camera in San Diego in 2019

Random punches, brazen break-ins, and stick-up robberies: these are just some of the crimes captured on surveillance cameras in San Diego this year.

Disturbing video shows a man punching a woman in the face in the Gaslamp Quarter.

The San Diego Police Department released surveillance video in an attempt to catch the man seen punching a woman in the Gaslamp Quarter in March.

SDPD said the 50-year-old man was arguing with his fiancée when a woman approached them to intervene. 

"She was heard on video saying she was calling 911," SDPD said.

That's when the suspect swung at the woman, striking her in the face with his right hand. 

The man took off before SDPD arrived. His fiancée stayed at the scene but refused to cooperate with investigators, even giving them a false name, police said. 

A man wearing a Jesus-style Halloween costume was captured on surveillance video punching a San Diego police officer in the face during an unprovoked attack in the Gaslamp Quarter. Eric Van Vleet, 24, was arrested days later in Idaho.

The officer was trying to arrest a man involved in a fight when Van Vleet – who had nothing to do with the brawl – yelled “some anti-police rhetoric,” ran up to the officer, and attacked him, SDPD said.

“Their investigation also determined the attack was entirely unprovoked, based on the statements of several independent civilian witnesses,” an SDPD Lt. said.

The victim in the attack required several stitches. His name was not released by the department. The motive for the attack remains unknown.


A security camera in a Normal Heights salon caught two men smash their front window and rummage through their front desk. It also captured one of the thieves making a fool of himself.

One of the men can be seen struggling to hop back out of the broken window, falling backwards and breaking a coffee table.

We tried to laugh as much as we could about it. Watched the video about 34 times.

Salon Owner

The salon owners shared their story to spread the word and warn other businesses that the same thing can happen to them. They were broken inot once before -- and so were many other businesses in the area -- about four years ago.

NBC 7's Jackie Crea explains how the salon owners are using the security footage for laughs and to teach a lesson.
The shop owner told NBC 7's Jackie Crea he thinks the attacks could be over tattoo turf.

Security cameras at a brand new tattoo parlor in Ocean Beach caught a vandalism suspect in the act two days in a row in November. The shop owner thinks his competitor may have something to do with it.

Surveillance video showed someone zooming by, possibly on foot or on skates, and throwing an object that punctured a hole in the front window. And the morning before, someone rode up on a skateboard and attached some kind of explosive to the window that blasted a hole in the glass.

“The whole brick through the window thing, you know, because you opened up on my block,” the shop owner explained. “Well its nobody's block… It's the city of San Diego’s block. I didn't open up in the first place to try and be competition for somebody.”

Though out of some $10,000 worth of belongings, the victim told NBC 7's Erika Cervantes he did learn a valuable lesson.

The search is on for two men caught on camera ransacking a Bay Park garage and stealing $10,000 worth of the homeowner’s belongings in August.

The men can be seen making multiple trips into the garage where tools, sporting equipment and other items were laid out for the taking.

"They were just so brazen. They didn't have any gloves on. One guy made an attempt to cover up his face and stuff. The other guy is very recognizable,” the homeowner said.

He said the thieves took his garage door opener, went into his garage, and stole two bikes, one worth $6,000, air soft equipment, ski equipment and power tools.

New surveillance footage shows armed robbers at a Mission Valley apartment complex. NBC 7's Liberty Zabala has more.

If you've ever walked along through a dark parking lot or garage, you may have feared this exact thing would happen: A trio of suspects robbed a couple at gunpoint inside a Mission Valley apartment's parking garage.

Surveillance video shows three men enter the parking garage at the Millennium luxury apartment complex off Camino de la Reina March 20. Moments later, the three men are seen running from the garage with a handbag and a rolling suitcase. 

The couple told police the three men chased them through the parking garage, armed with guns.

The suspects demanded the man and woman's luggage; in Spanish, one yelled to the couple to "Give me everything you have! Fast," SDPD said. 

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