Residents blame bike path for neighborhood crime

Jul 23, 2014 12:48 AM by Jason Atcho

Jessica Barbour was sitting at home when she heard her dog barking near the front door. When she went to see what was wrong, she noticed two men near their boat. "Two men (were) in our driveway with a bike basket on the back of the bike and loading it up with stuff and I didn't really think of what they were doing. My dad came outside and realized that stuff was missing out of his boat so he saw which was they went and followed them," she said.

The men were chased down to the next street which was a dead end. That's when a neighbor heard the commotion from her backyard and went to take a look. "I came out front (pretending) to check the mail and to see what was going on and saw my neighbor from around the corner talking to two men about stuff that they had stolen," said Sue Maligie.

She went inside to call 9-1-1 while the homeowner tried to keep the thieves there until police arrived. Chico PD showed up quickly and both men were arrested. She says that she and her neighbors try to look out for each other. "You know that if there's a car you don't recognize here, people tend to watch out for each other unless they're coming for a reason they really aren't usually on our street."

Many neighbors say a bike path leading to the neighborhood is the root of the problem. "I do ride it three times a week to go work out and when I do there are several people that look like maybe they've spent the night along the bike path," said Maligie. Others say they've caught thieves in the act. "I've seen them. I've chased them trying to get into my car, and when I chase them they come straight here," said Tom Barbour, talking about the bike path.

Concerns are growing since most of the previous thefts were in the middle of the night. "This was in the middle of the day, 12 o'clock, so they're getting particularly brazen," said Tom Barbour. Many residents wish the city would close off that branch of the bike path that leads into their neighborhood. "I would sleep much better at night if this bike path wasn't here."

Other neighbors told me Action News Now off camera that they've had homeless people sleeping in their backyards, bikes stolen from their homes, and even seen drug activity on the bike path.


Most Popular