When will the crime problem stop getting worse and start getting better? The evidence says it’s still getting worse

19 Aug

This morning, riding bikes in a markedly deteriorating Bidwell Park, my husband and I found evidence of car break-ins at the parking area there at the gate above 5 Mile, where Centennial hits Chico Canyon.

I was shocked that a person had just driven right up and parked on top of an obvious crime scene.

I was shocked that a person had just driven right up and parked on top of an obvious crime scene.


From the piles of glass, it looked like at least four cars had been violated.

From the piles of glass, it looked like at least four cars had been violated.

As my husband was snapping the photos, a neighbor came along with her large German shepherd. She asked us what was going on. We pointed out the glass on the ground, and she seemed shocked. I don’t think she would have noticed it if we hadn’t pointed it out to her.

I was shocked that people would just drive up and park their cars at the scene of the crime and wander off down that trail.

I’m not reporting this to Chico PD, because I don’t know any of the details, and I would assume that the owners of the cars would report it.  But, I’m reporting it to you, and I hope the word gets out.

I’m not going to assume anything, except that several cars had their windows busted out in this spot. I’m guessing it wasn’t a rash of people locking their keys in the car. I’m also guessing that it happened at the same time, quickly, because the glass looked all the same, as though it hadn’t been laying there very long. I’m no Columbo, but I’ll guess if you park there the chances are pretty good your car will be broken into, I think that’s a pretty safe guess.

Later in the morning my husband took me to a North Chico hardware store, and overheard the cashier telling the customer ahead of us that he should never leave valuables in his car, and always lock it up when he was going to be away from it for any amount of time.  Car break-ins are becoming common all over town.

We heard a lot about the “carjacking” over on Vallombrosa.  I’m not sure what separates “carjacking” from “car theft,” unless it’s the fact that the victim actually made contact with the thief, chasing the car as it sped off. In one early report, I heard the car was left running in front of her house, unattended. Later it was said the keys were left in it. She said she just went into the house to get a few things, etc. I hate to go all Jack Webb on you, but the cops have the discretion to cite a person for leaving their car keys in the car, and I’m pretty sure the insurance company takes a dim view of that kind of behavior. Leaving a car running unattended is a threat to public safety.

Wake Up People!

The car broken into across the street from my house had a purse left laying right on the seat in full view – her window was smashed so fast a woman looking out a window across the street didn’t even see it. She just saw a man walking away.   A friend of my kid’s left his IPOD on the seat of his car at Bear Hole, in full view, and his wallet under the seat. His window was broken out and both were taken from his car.

I think this is a matter of professionals who know how to get into your car quick, know what to take and how to cash it in. I’ve heard some interesting chatter about various ways thieves break into cars, but for the “smash and grab,” they’re not after the car, they’re after valuables they  can carry away in a backpack.

So, you think you’d see people walking around with little hammers or something – those would be heavy and hard to conceal. And pretty damned incriminating. There’s a funny little trick these thieves use – tempered glass from broken automobile spark plugs. They’re called “ninja rocks”, and as of 2003, the California penal codes lists them as “burglary tools.” But they’re alot easier to conceal, and probably just about as easy to discard on the run.

Want to see how fast it happens? Watch this video:

and here’s Part II, where he busts a toilet with a sledge hammer – this guy is a scientist!

I’m guessing these are common around Chico. I’m guessing many of the “street people” we see weaving their way through town and along Chico Creek are professional criminals who find the homeless highway a very convenient getaway, going from town to town, stealing as a way to make ends meet.

The cashier at  the hardware store told the man ahead of us, “we need to clean them out.” There was something sinister in the young man’s face as he said that.  I remember Lloyd Brown – beaten to death by two drunken Butte College Students who discovered him sleeping in an alley. I don’t want that kind of campaign.

The cops have gotten raises, and the city is talking seriously about hiring more cops. The county Behavioral Health Department got over a million dollars in grants to deal with the mentally ill, and have recently closed escrow on a new Chico Behavioral Health Center. Why are we still having this problem with “street people”?

2 Responses to “When will the crime problem stop getting worse and start getting better? The evidence says it’s still getting worse”

  1. Jim August 20, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    Car burglaries are so common hardly anyone notices anymore. Cops don’t care either. A friends and her jogging partners cars were all broken into near 5 mile. Credit cards were stolen and used at Target, Jack in the Box & Walmart. Cops refused to follow up. All they had to do was get the security video and would have had pictures of the perpetrators and their car. But they could care less.

    The good news is that we are getting new parking meters, $350,000 worth of new meters.

    • Juanita Sumner August 20, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

      I’ve heard stories like that from big cities, and here we are. Our police department is flush with big salaries and a 90 percent pension available at age 50, but they can’t run over and look at security footage to solve a rampant problem? Just think, every time they catch a perp they stop how many crimes?

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