I am disheartened to witness the local five-agency police state zealous prosecution to solve the heinous crime at Empire State Park involving a broken plastic box containing token chump change for the governor.
I mean, a “manhunt,” complete with scores of SWAT officers armed with fully automatic-rifles, days of disruptive noise overhead and aerial surveillance in my business neighborhood on Colfax Avenue, which cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars — really?
Front page news articles and automated phone alerts have followed, while the police heroically press their search for an unarmed vagrant with loose change in his pockets, hiding in the bushes of the park.
A year and a half ago the door to our home was smashed in and our home was robbed of thousands of dollars of heirloom jewelry, a priceless World War II Nazi SS dagger that my dad collected after flying 35 missions in B17s to help win the war and important papers and passports.
The crime occurred mid-afternoon, just outside Grass Valley city limits, and I immediately called the sheriff to apprehend the ##@%@%%@ criminal that robbed our house.
Our police response was far different. The officers didn’t arrive at our home, where I stayed to preserve evidence, until close to 7 p.m.
I was told coffee breaks and a shift change had gotten in the way of a more timely response. The officers were polite and empathetic and stayed more than two hours, investigating and collecting evidence.
We were told at the time that scores of other homes had been robbed in the area, and a large-scale case was underway.
After the expense of increasing our insurance coverages, installing an alarm and increased security at the home, we were contacted eight months later by the sheriff, saying they had their man. Nothing significant stolen from our property was ever recovered.
There were no front page news articles or automatic phone messages in our neighborhood, just a resolve amongst neighbors to help watch out for our own.
What is going on with law enforcement around here? Where are your priorities — to protect and serve private citizens? The state park is tax-exempt. The work of my wife and I, our home and private small business provide the tax base for your existence. I, as one of the 49 percent of tax-paying private citizens, demand better!
Tom Amesbury lives in Grass Valley.