Besides reading classified ads, my other favorite pass time is the 'police blotter' sections of small-town papers. Back in the suburbs in NoCal, it rarely made for interesting reading. When we lived in Walnut Creek, it was all about 'stuff' that was stolen; when we moved to Pittsburg, there were the all-too-frequent reports of violence. This part is nothing to joke about. There was some bad stuff happening- shooting, stabbing, people beating the crap out of each other with furniture. (I'm not making this up, a while back there was an incident where two family members got into a disagreement during dinner, which escalated into a brawl in the street, where, before they could be pulled apart, they beat each other senseless with dining room chairs.) Although I was never personally affected more than having to drive around a detour of what we used to affectionately call 'police activity'. (we would run into 5 or 6 patrol cars parked in a chevron pattern in the middle of the street to block traffic while they chased the bad guys on foot) This would always set me to whining because it meant waiting an extra 15 minutes just to get to the freeway entrance, (sometimes just 100 yards ahead) where once on the freeway, I could sit for an extra hour waiting for more police vehicles to get by, when I just wanted to get to a destination a mere 9 miles away. Other people's violent behavior = more sitting in traffic. So insensitive! See, that's the kind of attitude that will keep me from ever being allowed back in California. Having been removed from this for a little over a year, I feel - well, removed from it. I decided to do a completely nonscientific survey and compare the police notes from my old newspaper to some I'd gleaned from the Delta County Independent. Just looking at the stuff that gets stolen, in Walnut Creek, CA in one week there were reports of: a camera stolen from a vehicle, a purse stolen from an unlocked vehicle, 2 laptops stolen from 2 different vehicles overnight, another purse stolen from a locked vehicle overnight, a wallet, an iPod, and a navigation system - all taken from different vehicles in different locations, at different times of the day. There was also a business theft; the report of some perfume products being stolen from a downtown retail establishment.
Let's take a look at Delta County... there were reports of a bottle containing some pills being stolen from an unlocked vehicle, some firewood being stolen from the back of a truck; a woman reported that a mirror, a television and her father's ashes had been stolen from her home (but the rest of the story is that they had been stolen by her sister.) Dipsticks were stolen from 2 tractors; and a trailer axle and a sluice box were also reported stolen. The business theft reported here involved a gas station reporting counterfeit five dollar bills. (Seriously...fives?)
What kind of self-respecting counterfeiter risks a trip to ClubFed for fives?
Back in CA...the really awful news that made national headlines earlier this week was from Richmond, CA- where 2 men opened fire during a church service Sunday, injuring two worshippers. Thankfully, no one was killed. I'm not sure if they caught the guys or not.
Sadly, I think there's a whole contingent of locals who just aren't that shocked by this one- the area has averaged about one murder per week of 2010, drive-by shootings are all too common; which is what happens when residents live by the 'no snitching' rule.
Yikes, I didn't mean to go there...but can't help but wonder if the same outraged churchgoers are the ones who are raising their kids not to 'snitch' to the cops...
Meanwhile, out on the Mesa...
A Hotchkiss man reported an incident of road rage. He reported the other driver stopped his car, got out, waved his arms and made threats. Another resident called 911 to report he was being harassed by telemarketers. OK, who hasn't been tempted to do that, especially when we just sat down to dinner or a new episode of NCIS just started?
Is there a take-away from this? Thieves get better stuff in California suburbs? People in rural areas call 911 for silly reasons? Delta County is no place for low-budget counterfeiters?
I think it's all relative-
One's thief's perfume is an other's sluice box...