Chula Vista Police Department
Help Us Solve a Crime
Investigations Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Q: Will a detective call me about my case?
A: Depending on the circumstances of the crime, you may not receive a follow-up call from a detective. A supervisor evaluates every crime case and, often, other leads cannot be developed. If there is little evidence in your case, it could be marked "inactive" pending crime lab fingerprint or DNA matching. If evidence or other information develops, the detective assigned to your case will contact you.
Q. What is Megan's Law and how can I find out if a sex offender lives in my neighborhood?
A: In 1996, California enacted “Megan's Law” which provides the public with the addresses, photographs and descriptive information on the most serious sex offenders residing in California. These offenders have been convicted of committing sex crimes and are required to register their whereabouts with local law enforcement. You can obtain sex offender information by visiting http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov
Q: What can I do about annoying or threatening phone calls?
A: If you become a victim of annoying phone calls, you should report them to the police department. Your phone company may be able to assist you to track the origin of the calls if they have a police report number.
If you become a victim of threatening phone calls, report them to your local police department immediately. Law enforcement takes threatening calls seriously, and so should you, especially if you are in an abusive relationship or have been the victim of domestic violence.
Q: What should I do if I am the victim of domestic violence?
A. If you are a victim of domestic violence. The following guidelines will assist in answering those often-difficult questions that you may have in your time of need.
- Call the Chula Vista Police Department at (619) 691-5151 for non-emergency situations or 911 in an emergency situation to file a crime report and get a case number. A detective will contact you about the case.
- If you choose to remain in your present relationship, your safety is extremely important. Consider keeping an emergency bag packed with clothing, money, emergency telephone numbers and/or toys for children. ***Also, important papers such as ID and birth certificates.
- Many abusers, unless held accountable, will batter again! We recommend obtaining a restraining order. A temporary restraining order (TRO) will be granted for a period of ten days. If the Family Court Judge grants the order, it is recommended that you give a copy of the restraining order to the Sheriff's Department so the offender can be served. Both you, and the offender will be ordered to return in ten days, so it can be finalized for a period of THREE YEARS.
- Make copies of the restraining order, so you, family members, friends, neighbors and your employer can be aware of the situation. If you have the restraining order BEFORE you call the police, give a copy to the officer.
- Keep a record of all violations of the terms of the TRO or Emergency Protective Order (EPO). Keep it in a secure place. Report all violations to the detective in charge of your case.
- Change the locks on your home.
- Consider getting a dog.
- Get an unlisted phone number. Tell your family and friends not to give out the number to anyone else.
Q: How can I obtain a restraining order?
A:You can request a restraining order against a person who hurt or threatened you, or other family members, by appearing at the Superior Court located nearest to you. The San Diego County Family Court Services information line is (619) 746-6200 (8:30am - 3:30pm). A restraining order may be requested whether or not an arrest has been made or the police have been called. A domestic violence restraining order is always free. In many courts, free legal assistance is available or you can represent yourself.
- Request a temporary restraining order (TRO) at the Superior Court. NOTE:emergency protection orders are available through the Police Department on a 24-hour basis, and are valid for only 5 court days.
- Your TRO should be granted the same or next day.
- Serve the defendant with a copy of the TRO. (Anyone over 18 years of age, except you, can hand the order to the defendant.)
- Deliver a copy of the TRO, Proof of Service, and Law Enforcement Information form back to the court that issued the order. Retain the originals of all documents.
- You must return to court in approximately three weeks to obtain an order that is valid for three years. This order must also be served to the defendant and copies delivered to the police station.
You can be ordered to see a mediator to try to work out visitation of any minor children involved. The law gives you the right to see the mediator alone, in a separate meeting. After any agreement with the mediator regarding visitation, be sure to return to court to obtain the three-year restraining order which protects you.
Q: "I suspect my neighbor is selling drugs."
A: Contact the Chula Vista Police Department Narcotic Enforcement Team with the following information at (619) 422-Tips (8477) or submit a tip.
With your tip, please provide the exact address of the location and any identifying information for the suspect(s). Additionally, provide any license plate numbers, and days/times there is consistent activity that you believe are drug sales.
Q: How can I report a hate crime?
A: Hate crimes are very serious and traumatic incidents. It is important for citizens to remember that when a hate crime occurs, they should be reported to the police immediately by telephoning 911. When a citizen finds that he or she has been a victim of a hate crime, and it is not an immediate life-threatening emergency, he or she should phone their local community police station and report the crime.
Q: How can I report child abuse?
A: Call your local police department or Child Abuse hotline. If the child in question is in imminent danger then call 911. In the San Diego area, the Child Abuse Hotline phone number is (858) 560-2191.
Q: What is Physical Elder Abuse?
A: Physical elder abuse is the use of force that could cause pain or injury to a person 65 of age and older or a dependent adult. It might also include the inappropriate use of drugs or restraints upon the person. Neglect is considered a form of physical elder abuse. Neglect is to fail to give the proper or required care and attention to somebody or something.
Q: What is Fiduciary Elder Abuse?
A: Fiduciary or financial abuse is the exploitation of someone’s funds or other resources. Such abuse can range from the misuse of funds to the transfer or sale of personal or real property.
Q: What is Emotional Elder Abuse?
A: Emotional or psychological elder abuse is the action of using threats, verbal assaults, or isolation to cause distress or mental suffering to a person 65 years of age and older or a dependent adult.
Q: How can I report elder abuse?
- Your Local Law Enforcement Agency: If anyone is inflicting physical or sexual abuse on any person RIGHT NOW, please call your local police department, sheriff’s station, or law enforcement agency. In San Diego County, call 911. If you suspect any form of elder abuse has occurred, but is not currently in progress, contact your local law enforcement agency or any of the appropriate programs listed below by using non-emergency telephone numbers (CVPD- non emergency line (619) 691-5151).
- Adult Protective Services Program: Adult Protective Services (APS) is a State mandated Title XX service program which mandates the prompt investigation of all situations involving adults age 18 and over who are reported to be endangered by abuse, neglect, exploitation, or unsafe or hazardous living conditions. When necessary, the investigating social worker will seek the assistance of law enforcement to gain access to the client or to obtain protection in violent situations. San Diego County Adult Protective Services Hotline number is (800) 510-2020.
- Assistance from District Attorney’s Office: The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office can provide victims of elder abuse with medical compensation, counseling, assistance in filing "Victim of Crime Claims," and assistance for victims with court procedures and transportation.
Q. How do I make myself a harder target for identity theft?
A: Safeguard your personal identifying information such as:
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s license or other identification numbers
- Passwords or Personal Identification Number (PIN) codes
- Address, phone numbers, date of birth
- Birth Certificate information
- Mother’s maiden name, other family information
- Financial account numbers
- Credit/Debit or other access card or account information
- Medical information and medical insurance information
- Biometric information
- Use a crosscut or confetti shredder to destroy all mail (even if junk mail) when no longer needed. Do not throw away unopened mail especially if it comes from a financial or credit institution - shred all of it upon determining you do not need it.
- Do not routinely carry your Social Security card with you.
- Do not give your personal identifying information to anyone that you do not know or from whom you did not solicit services.
- Be cautious when using any social media and "friending" others through social media who you do not know. Also, be aware of the security settings (and their limitations) allotted for any social media you use. Be cautious of what you “post” through social media, as even though it may be seen by your friends, what if their account is compromised? Now a complete stranger knows your “status” (location, etc) and other information about you through your friends’ contacts (information they have stored about you, such as your address, date of birth, employment, etc.).
- Be cautious when conducting any online activity where you send or receive any personal identifying information.
- Be cautious of free downloads.
- Be cautious when using a wireless router not belonging to you and also encrypt your router with a password. Do not give your password out unless it is to someone you know and trust.
- Update your anti-virus software regularly and also ensure any factory updates for your computers are kept up to date. Often those “updates” are to address security vulnerabilities within your software.
- Password protect your computers, smart phones and any other digital media containing personal identifying information or other information mentioned above which should be safeguarded. Use a strong password - combinations of capital/lowercase letters, numbers and also symbols). Avoid choosing passwords such as nicknames, hobbies, family/pet names, etc. The password should be something that even someone who knows you well would not be able to figure out. Also consider obtaining software which allows for remote deleting of any data should your device be lost or stolen.
- Do not “jailbreak” (altering your electronic device to defeat certain payment plans, expenses, etc.) your smart phone or other electronic devices, as doing so can significantly increase the vulnerability of the data you store, send or receive with that device.
- Do not leave in your vehicle any personal identifying information; to include credit cards, checks (even if it is a closed account), medical cards/information, or any business or other important documents. Also, ensure these items are locked up within your residence; as many cases of identity theft stem from roommates (or their guests).
- Do not leave anything containing your personal identifying information (including your laptop or other digital media) in your car or anyplace where someone could steal it.
- Do not respond to any request that you send money or information to someone because you "won" a prize or a lottery.
- Be cautious about providing any information to people on the phone who you do not personally know (telemarketers, etc.).
- Be cautious about responding to any emails requesting you confirm, change or provide any account information. If you receive these emails, contact the company directly through other means, preferably in person (bank branch, etc.).
- Sign the back of your credit cards or write, "Demand to see proper ID" so that clerks pay attention to your credit card use.
- Obtain a credit report periodically www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.
- “Opt out” of pre-approved credit cards and other offers (888-5OPT-OUT).
- Do not leave any mail clipped to a mailbox or in an unsecured location (even in the “outbox” at work) as this is how mail gets stolen. Deposit your mail into an official USPS mailbox BEFORE the last pick-up of the day. Monitor your mail for the regular items you typically receive. If you do not get them when you should, this may be an indication someone has forwarded your mail to another location. If this happens contact the US Postal Inspectors (see below).
Q. What do I do if I am a victim of identity theft?
A. If you are a victim, these are your first steps
- Immediately contact your local law enforcement agency, immediately to file a report. Under California Penal Code section 530.6, the agency having jurisdiction where you reside or work is REQUIRED to take a report, regardless where the crime occurred. Be sure to obtain your case/report number and also the name and badge number of the investigating officer. Retain this information for your records.
- Contact US Postal Inspectors and cross report your victimization to them 877-876-2455 at http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and cross report your victimization to them at www.ftc.gov.
- Close affected accounts and closely monitor any other accounts
- Obtain a current credit report and also place a “fraud alert” or “credit freeze” on your credit reports with the major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and Transunion).
- Contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for FREE assistance with the above tasks at www.idtheftcenter.org or call 858-693-7935.