Tough Times Ahead

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Opinion, Political on July 28, 2011

Trash Recycling with Disposal Containers

Image by epSos.de via Flickr

Did you happen to catch the news today? I know times are hard right now but these young men could have caused some serious problems. A community doesn’t spend $2,000 for a 200 foot section of guard rail, unless it’s needed.

Suspects Arrested In Guard Rail Theft

Sonora, CA– Tuolumne County Sheriff’s authorities arrested two men early
this morning suspected of stealing a portion of a guard rail.

According to Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Jeff Wilson, a report was made
Monday regarding a 200 foot section of guard rail valued at approximately $2000
missing from Shawmut Road.

After the Sheriff’s Department conducted an investigation this week, Deputy
Paul Speers discovered two men this morning at around 2 am, near the section of
the missing rail. He also noticed another section of rail had been unbolted from
its posts and was laying on the ground. Speers says he had checked the area
earlier and knew the rail was still on its posts at that time. [continue reading…]

I had heard that people were stripping copper wiring and copper plumbing, out of their houses before the bank foreclosure. Would you be surprised to learn that this case is not all that unusual? For instance in Augusta, GA.

Metal thefts bring renewed scrutiny

Sheriff’s Investigator Kendall Brown can legally question anyone waiting in line to recycle their metal. But on a recent morning Brown was biding his time, patiently scanning the scrapyard crowd through the tinted windows of his silver Impala.

“You have to read the person, watch what people are loading,” said Brown, who coordinates the newly resurrected CSRA Metal Theft Task Force. The task force is a holdover from 2008, when a spike in theft followed a jump in the prices of precious metals.

More than 20 law enforcement agencies and civilian businesses have joined forces to share their information on what’s been stolen and who’s responsible. Richmond County is the hub of the task force because of its six scrapyards; by default, almost all the stolen goods eventually trickle through here. [continue reading…]

In San Diego investigators got a call from a local recycler who got suspicious after five  people brought in a bunch of caps to recycle.

Fire Hydrant Theft Ring Busted

Escondido police officers arrested five people for stealing brass caps  off hundreds of fire hydrants around the city. On Friday, police got a call from a North County recycler that a group of people were trying to sell more than 80 hydrant caps. [Source:  Thieves Tamper with Hydrants | NBC San Diego]

The San Ramon Express News reports:

 Thousands worth of copper stolen from PG&E facility

Approximately $2,000 worth of copper wire was stolen from the PG&E Testing Facility on Crow Canyon Road last week, according to police reports. [continue reading…]

Other unusual items being stolen for recycling include:

All this was found doing a quick search for the terms, “theft recycle.” I can only imagine just how huge this problem has become. I guess what this all means is business and homeowners will need to make a bee-line to the recycling center, if they hope to retrieve their stolen items before they are crushed beyond recognition.

On the other side of the coin, many others are using these tough times to their own advantage by going dumpster diving, an activity we used partake of when I was a child. Did you know that people throw away tons of perfectly usable items, simply because they are unwanted? Over the years I have liberated many supposedly unwanted items doomed to end up in the garbage heap.

Of course, it wasn’t as acceptable of a practice back in the early 70’s as it is today. We were always afraid one of our friends would see us and make fun, but that didn’t stop us from going out again the following weekend. Apparently, some communities have laws against dumpster diving.

Dumpster diving yields hidden treasures

Yoder’s best finds include roller skates, records, clothing and furniture. However, according to the City of Lawrence, Yoder obtained these “treasures” illegally.

A city code prohibits unauthorized individuals from going through or removing other people’s trash. Since January 2010, city officials prosecuted six people for unlawfully removing trash.

“Some people feel very strongly against others going through their trash because they consider it an invasion of privacy,” Lawrence communications manager Megan Gilliland said. “It is their understanding that the city will dispose of their trash without others going through it.” [continue reading…]

You should check with your local officials before dumpster diving, unless you want to risk being arrested.

Communities talk a good story about being “GREEN” but how many really are? The state of California is discouraging people from shopping online (a green thing to do), so back in the car they go, shopping for bargains. Children here are rounded up for truancy, why not encourage them to school online?

Our landfills are getting full but hey, let’s pass laws preventing people from saving items destined for the landfill. What kind of sense does it all make? Are we going to be good stewards or not? We really need to stop and think about what kind of world we are leaving to our children and begin making better use of our resources.

Well, that’s my opinion anyway. Any thoughts on the topic?

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Crime Wave?

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Posted by Annie in Tuolumne County, Twain Harte News on April 18, 2010

I make it a habit of checking out the police blotter or “News of Record” pretty regularly on the Union Democrat. Most of the crimes reported for Tuolumne County tend toward the rather mundane side of news.

Due to the sheer number of empty vacation homes, we usually see more break-ins than most communities. Tuolumne County is experiencing many of the issues that go along with a depressed community, mainly drug addiction and alcohol problems and all that entails.

Mountain Liquors

What you won’t find here are muggings, rapes, murders and certainly not robbery, well at least until Thursday evening, when a lone robber entered the Fashion Bug demanding money from two frightened female employees. [Read the news account of the incident…]

What they failed to mention in the report is that the Fashion Bug is located just three doors down from the local “Community Service Center” (read: Police Station), which is housed in the Junction Shopping Center. Now that takes some big ones. Wouldn’t a smart robber have picked something a little closer to the entrance of the Junction Shopping Center? The Fashion Bug is located way back in the corner, just about as close as you can get to the police center.

Then on Friday, Mountain Liquors, in the Twain Harte Shopping Center, was robbed by what police believe to be the same man. Mountain Liquors was robbed in the same fashion and around the same time of day as the Fashion Bug. [Read the news account of the incident…]

The robber has been described as “a Caucasian male standing six feet two inches tall and weighing 150 pounds. He was wearing blue jeans, a blue or black hoodie sweatshirt, the bandanna and dark wire rim copper colored glasses,” during the Fashion Bug robbery.

Apparently the crook isn’t hurting for clothing. In the Mountain Liquors robbery witnesses said he was wearing a green hoodie sweatshirt and black turtleneck sweater. Police believe this may be the same man that robbed the Lake Ridge Inn last week and the Fashion Bug in the Junction Shopping Center Thursday evening.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately at (209) 533-5815. Your call can remain anonymous.

Apparently, the man isn’t that familiar with Twain Harte, where the police can be found patroling Twain Harte quite frequently — especially on the weekend when vacationers like to let their hair down and party at the local pubs.

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Solicitors Hit Hard!

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Posted by Annie in Twain Harte News on July 13, 2009

‘Tis the season, not for Christmas but for door-to-door salesman. Just today a fast talking young man was dropped off in our neighborhood by a large black SUV, with a slick story about a speech contest he was trying to win that would net him a trip to the Caribbean. He tried to enlist our support — and all we had to do was purchase magazines, so he could earn points for his contest. His attitude took a sharp turn when he found out we weren’t buying.

Late last week, I was tempted with a free carpet cleaning — courtesy of Kirby Vacuum Sales — at least that was the claim by the solicitor. I turned him down as well.

The problem is these are not locals, these people are brought up in large vehicles and dropped off. They could just as easily be casing out your home. With home invansions and crime on the upward rise, letting a stranger into your home could end up costing you more than you want to pay for that “free” shampooing.

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