Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Opinion Piece Submitted by Terry Henderson, July 17, 2019 – with comment from Supervisor 1st District, Roger Gitlin

Dear Law Enforcement, Government officials and local media personnel:

I’m writing to express my dismay over an incident that occurred during my recent stay at Florence Keller County Park. My daughter and I finishing a two-week trip to Northern California. We left Portland, Oregon on June 30th and had traveled throughout Northern California. On July 12th, 2019, we planned to stay at Jedediah Smith State Park, but found the campground full. A park employee at the entrance recommended Florence Keller County Park as an alternative, so we went there instead. We found a site and got setup for the evening.

We cooked dinner in our site, #13, built a campfire and enjoyed our campsite for the evening before heading inside around 11:30 p.m. “Inside” in this case refers to our 2001 Ford Econoline camper conversion, in which we sleep. By midnight we had turned out the lights and went to sleep.

As I discovered the next morning, during the night, a thief attempted to steal my bikes by cutting the main security cable which is used to lock my bikes to the bike rack. The thief failed, but succeeded in damaging the cable and rendering it useless. My van has a rear hitch-mounted bike rack on which I was carrying two high end mountain bikes. The rack is locked to the vehicle and the bikes were locked to the rack. The bikes were also covered by a tarp. The tarp was pulled aside and the thief spent considerable effort attempting to steal the bikes. Part of what makes this so unpleasant is that I was asleep in bed with my head approximately two feet from the bikes. My daughter also slept nearby, in the upper berth of our camper.

I find this blatant and brazen attempt to steal from me extremely disturbing. This violation has left me shaken and has tarnished what was otherwise a terrific vacation and wonderful opportunity to travel and explore throughout Northern California!

on my conversation with the camp host, this is not an isolated incident. He explained that a motorbike was stolen from his campsite the week before and that other incidents of theft had been reported recently. The camp host stated that theft is rampant in Florence Keller County Park. This experience makes me believe that not enough resources are being spent to prevent crime. No doubt tourist dollars contribute to the local economy and theft by criminals who are preying on visitors (and locals) in this fashion will only tarnish the reputation of Florence Keller County Park and the surrounding areas, and deter visitors. Keeping people safe and secure must be a higher priority. Although I got lucky, others may not be so fortunate and I’ll certainly think twice about visiting the area again.

In conclusion, my hope is that by alerting local law enforcement and government officials, I can raise awareness of this unsafe situation and seek improved safety for future visitors!

Good Morning, Terry Henderson:
Thank you for sending me this powerful email. I have cc:ed your letter to an updated list of Gov’t and community leaders. For effective purpose, the list is blind cc:ed in an attempt to bring greater attention and action to our exploding crime problem and change the errant and destructive direction the State is heading.Sadly, what you experienced is a result of the gutting and decriminalizing of California law. This destructive process has been going on for many years: Prop 47, Prop 57, AB109 and many other laws have made crimes like the one you personally experienced common and insignificant. Clearly, what you and your family experienced was not insignificant and very serious. And I am sure, and justifiably so, you may speak with your feet and $$ and relate your experience to your friends and extended family. Like so many other rural California communities, quality of Life is deteriorating in our beautiful community and your negative experience is witness to this… Bike thefts are as common as jaywalking. Shoplifting is another less than serious crime. Budgets for law enforcement are  contracting.

I apologize profusely for your experience and I can only share your letter with people who can make the changes and pray you will give Del Norte County a second chance. We are truly an exquisite community with so many wonderful people. We are ALL frustrated.Those in positions of authority have turned a blind eye and deaf ear to folks like you. That is unacceptable!
Thank you for writing me. Your letter was more than impactful. I have given you my direct cell phone # for easier access to me. I will do everything I can to help improve the quality life in Del Norte County.
5 thoughts on “Attempted theft”
  1. When we stay at Redwood Village RV park even though my bike is locked in the rack I take the front wheel and seat off and lock them up in my camper shell,it seems to deter thieves if they can’t ride it away,it would have to be carried away if they steal it.

  2. I have just had my high end mountain bike stolen in Crescent City, CA. My wife and I were staying at the Bayside RV park this past week. I’m a lighthouse nut, so I wanted to come here to see the Battery Point Lighthouse. This was our first visit to Crescent City and was really looking forward to seeing the lighthouse and the various points of interest. I secured my bike to the back of our RV trailer with a bike cable lock. We discovered the next day that my bike was gone and the cable lock had been cut. I know that cable locks are just a deterrent and can be defeated. In hindsight, I should have kept the bike secured in either my truck or our RV, but it did not occur to me to do this. I made a report to the Del Norte County Sheriff. This experience really soured what was a nice stay in a very beautiful part of NorCal. My bike is a bright lime green Santa Cruz Hightower LT 29er. Maxxis Tires, SRAM drivetrain, and bright graphics on the rims that match the bike. Please be on the lookout for my bike and contact me or the Del Norte County Sheriff. Thank you.

    1. William,

      Sorry to hear about your bike theft. This is such a disappointment and I know personally how much my bikes mean to me. I am sympathetic to the anguish you must be experiencing. I hope you have some luck in recovering your bike.

  3. Thankyou Roger for taking your time to write this traveler and father a wonderful letter about his experience in Florence Keller Park We certainly do not want people who visit Crescent City and end up having their bikes or other belongings stolen or in this case a botched attempt to steal his bike to think that we don’t care and are not willing to do something about our Homeless situation. Now certainly is the time to get together with the County and the City Officials to demonstrate that we want to put an end to this kind of activity and Crescent City is going to make a REAL ATTEMPT to stop this kind of activity!

  4. This story will not change until The dominance of the Democratic Party in California politics changes to reflect a sincere effort to make abhorrent behavior a thing of the past. It is all well and good for voter propositions to think of criminals as some how victims and forget about the true victims of their criminal activity, yet it is quite another thing to make enforcement a toothless travesty. They say you can steal up to nearly $1,000 worth of merchandise from a store or private party and Prop 47, Prop 57, and AB 109 will make it pointless for law enforcement to get involved. California has reverted to the “wild west” and will continue to do so until the Democrats stop thinking everyone is a victim and recognize not everyone thinks the way they do!

    Liberal progressives in California have given no incentive to criminals and the many other “victims” in their stable of victims to change their life style to something more acceptable. Until redistribution ceases and Californians earn what they receive, the experience Terry Henderson has had will become the norm in Del Norte County and the rest of California if it isn’t already. The voters in California need to wake up or it will only get worse.

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