Thefts from vehicles, an assault arrest and a report on using alternatives to SUVs for patrolling the community were discussed at the monthly Community Services District Security Committee last week.
Security Chief Greg Remson said thefts from unlocked vehicles were reported in January, including two overnight thefts reported Jan. 17. A phone charger and change were taken from a vehicle parked in a driveway on Puerto and a vehicle on Venado was “gone through,” with nothing reported taken, Remson said at Friday's meeting. These are “preventable crimes if you don’t leave property in your car and you lock it,” he said.
A motor home in the airport storage yard was broken into and property -- a TV -- was taken in an incident reported Jan. 20, Remson said. A report was filed with the sheriff’s department.
In other incidents, fishing gear was taken from a bicycle parked at Bass Lake Jan. 19, and a welding torch was reported stolen from a porch on Camino Del Lago Jan. 7.
Remson said the sheriff’s department arrested a 23-year-old resident who lives with his parents on charges of assault and battery against his former girlfriend Jan. 5.
On Jan. 2, a patrol officer contacted four juveniles in a golf cart on Pera Drive. The officer observed lawn decorations in the cart and vandalism damage in the area. “Parents and victims were contacted and will handle the situation,” according to Remson’s report.
Rancho Murieta Association rule violations
There were 15 citations issued in January for overnight street parking, 13 for driveway parking, seven for stop-sign violations, and five for speeding. Loose dogs (24) and open garage doors (19) led the list of admonishments and complaints.
North Gate update
The Rancho Murieta Association is getting closer to presenting drawings and costs for a new North Gate to the public, Remson told the committee.
Remson said the RMA committee is “really pushing forward on this,” and trying to figure out how to pay for it and “who’s going to contribute what ... They want to get it going, they want to get it done. And I think that is fantastic.”
The plan calls for relocating the guard station farther up Murieta Parkway to prevent backups onto Jackson Road, and having a dedicated lane for visitor traffic. Funding of $1.4 million was provided for the rebuild under the terms of a development agreement between the RMA and the Pension Trust Fund for Operating Engineers, the original owner and developer of Rancho Murieta.
Using alternative vehicles
After looking at alternatives, the Security Department recommends staying with SUVs for patrol vehicles, Remson reported to the committee.
CSD Director Paul Gumbinger had suggested using a golf cart-type vehicle for cost savings and efficiencies. Patrol officers were asked for their input, and the consensus was the best all-round vehicle is an SUV, given the size of community and current staffing levels (one or two patrol officers on duty per shift). The SUV provides additional ground clearance, sits higher for increased visibility, has space for equipment and for transport (including dogs), and warning lights that can be used for traffic control in the community and on Jackson Road, and it allows for the fastest response to calls within the district, according to Remson’s memorandum.
The memorandum, which evaluates bikes, golf cart-type vehicles, and ATVs, appears in the committee meeting packet.