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‘Red curb bandit’ bumming out surfers in La Jolla

Surfrider Foundation is calling out vandalism that prevents beach access.

SAN DIEGO — Be on the lookout for the red curb bandit.  Someone's been illegally painting curbs red in La Jolla.

The San Diego Surfrider Foundation posted a tongue-in-cheek wanted poster Thursday, after receiving a report from a local surfer that the curbs on Camino Del Callado in La Jolla were illegally painted red.

“It's an act of vandalism that is preventing people from accessing the beaches, so we take that very seriously,” said Kristin Brinner, a volunteer with Surfrider.

“We're not encouraging any vigilante action, but we did put letters in people's mailboxes on the street,” she said.

Images on Google Maps from earlier this year clearly showed that parking is legal on the north side of Camino Del Callado and the curbs were not painted.

But last month, someone painted the curbs with red paint. To top it off, it was a pretty lousy paint job.

“I don't think it’s fair at all because I’m trying to go surfing with my friends and family, but I can't because there's no parking anywhere,” said one female surfer.

It only seems logical that a nearby homeowner is to blame.

“I feel like these kooks are out here with these big houses, doing whatever they want, painting the curbs. But it's not fair to the locals out here just trying to catch a good time surfing. I don't like it,” said a male surfer in the neighborhood.

Some homeowners on the street declined to be interviewed by News 8. 

Virginia Winegardnar, a homeowner who has lived on the street since 1961, said she had no idea who was responsible for the vandalism.

“If I could stay up late enough, I would probably stay up all night and sit out here and watch,” said Winegardnar.  “If you find out who's doing it let me know.”

As for the surfers, the term “parking pirate” is taking on a whole new meaning.

“If it's illegally painted, then it means that it's legal to park, right?” said one surfer searching for a parking spot.

“I think I’m going to park (on the red curb). I think I’m going to park there,” he said.

San Diego police told News 8 the act of painting a curb red is a violation of San Diego Municipal Code and can be charged as misdemeanor vandalism.

The City of San Diego must now dispatch workers to re-paint the curb gray at taxpayer expense.

RELATED: U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach canceled due to pandemic

RELATED: VERIFY: Can you get COVID-19 from swimming in the ocean?

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