Car burglaries are common place in many cities, but residents in Oroville are fed up. " I knew when they pulled up that they were up to something, and I thought then because I stayed in the car, the something wasn't going to happen, I thought I had averted it", said Oroville resident Kari Carter.
Oroville resident Kari Carter was wrong, her car was broken into and her purse was stolen Monday evening at the Center For Spiritual Living on Oro Dam Boulevard while she was with a group of friends. She says she saw a suspicious looking man and woman pull up along side her car, then quickly take off. " They are preying on people that are gathering in groups like this", said Carter.
Just two weeks prior, Carter's friend's car was also broken into at the same location. Thieves also took off with her purse. And a 72 year old woman living nearby had her car stolen. " Be extra aware that there happens to be at this moment, until they catch them, some people that are really aggressively working to violate others", warned Carter.
Less than an hour after Carter's purse was stolen, charges appeared on her credit cars from places like K-Mart and the Chevron gas station on Clark Road in Paradise. Both Paradise and Oroville Police are investigating, but Oroville Police say the crimes aren't anything out of the ordinary. " We're not experiencing a particularly unusual amount of thefts at this time, but the thefts we're experiencing are always a concern to us", said Lt. Allen Byers.
Police do want to remind people not to leave belongings in their car, and things like wallets or purses on the seats where potential thieves can easily spot them. And even though Oroville Police say the crimes are normal for this time of year, some residents are still weary. " It feels to me like this is big city crime levels moving in", said Carter.
Oroville Police say so far this month 19 cars have been burglarized, averaging to about 1 break-in per day, which they say is normal city of Oroville's size.