AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John Phillips160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN FRANCISCO – San Diego County investigators can search welfare applicants’ houses without warrants to prevent fraud and ensure they are eligible for assistance, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. Welfare advocates unsuccessfully claimed the searches, which include peeking in closets and cabinets, are unconstitutional. Under the program adopted in 1997 to cut down on fraud, unarmed investigators from the District Attorney’s Office arrive unannounced at applicants’ houses to verify assets. They also conduct interviews, determine whether eligible dependents live there and certify that an “absent” parent does not live there.