Having your car burglarized will ruin what had been a grand day at the lake or enjoyable hike through the hills. There are, however, steps you may take to decrease the chance of having your ride looted.
As you might have heard, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area has had a string of about 20 vehicle break ins this year. Whiskeytown law enforcement rangers and the Redding police arrested Jason Allen Corbin, 38, who is a suspect in many of those burglaries and who has admitted committing three of them.
Unfortunately, other thieves could be waiting for a mark. “Every year, we have some vehicle break ins. Usually we can trace them back to one or two bad guys looking for easy money,” said Jim Richardson, Whiskeytown’s chief ranger.
So I asked Richardson for his recommendations.
“It’s safest to park in the developed parking areas where there are lots of cars,” Richardson said. Many people visiting the lake squeeze their vehicle into a hidden nook or cranny amongst the pines and manzanita. These are the cars most likely to get nailed by a burglar, because no one can see him operating.
Don’t leave a bunch of stuff in your car, especially a purse, wallet, cell phone, iPod or camera, Richardson urged. The bad guys are looking for cash, credit cards and items that could be pawned easily. If you must leave things behind, place them in the trunk, where the items will be out of view. Plus, he said, a trunk is more difficult for a thief to enter than the passenger compartment.
Whiskeytown’s backcountry trailhead parking areas are often quite deserted. In those instances, you definitely want to take your stuff with you while hiking or riding the trails. Richardson suggests bringing your driver’s license, a little cash and your Whiskeytown pass to the park, and leaving your purse or billfold at home.
Richardson also recommends paying attention to other people and vehicles when parking your car. This is how police busted Corbin. Multiple victims provided the same description of a vehicle, which turned out to be Corbin’s. If you can help the cops, you greatly improve the chances of getting your possessions back.
If you have other questions or concerns, contact the Whiskeytown visitor center at (530) 246-1225.
On today’s A La Carte menu:
A pint for a picture … BloodSource and Prime 11 Cinemas in Anderson are conducting a blood drive from 3 to 7 p.m. this Wednesday, July 13. Those who donate blood will receive a free movie pass. As always to donate, you must be at least 17 years old, in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and have photo identification. Contact BloodSource for more information, (866) 822-5663.
Good works by good people … Shasta Family Justice Center recently passed out two awards during a luncheon for the center’s volunteers. New Enterprise High School graduate Eric Morgan received a $500 scholarship named in his honor from Shasta Regional Medical Center for his assistance in getting the Family Justice Center up and running. The second award went to volunteer coordinator Laural Park, who won the newly coined Laural Park volunteer of the year award. Park and her team have trained all of the volunteers, who have jointly provided more than 1,500 hours of service since the center opened on September 1, 2010. The center coordinates services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and elder abuse, and it has volunteer positions available.
Paul Shigley is a freelance journalist based in Western Shasta County, CA, and doesn’t own a darn thing worth stealing. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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