Serial Suspect: Chico Neighbors Concerned

The Chico Police Department arrested Ishmael Smith five times in just the past few weeks - and each time he's gotten out.

Posted: Sep 20, 2018 6:13 PM
Updated: Sep 21, 2018 10:50 AM

CHICO Calif. - The Chico Police Department arrested Ishmael Smith five times in just the past few weeks - and each time he's gotten out.

"My coworker said that she may have seen him yesterday parked right outside of the business here so that's really scary especially if he's a predator and he's preying on women," said Chico resident Brenda Vettel. 

Officers arrested Ishmael Smith on Nord Avenue on Sept. 19.

"There was a female walking down the street and she reported that someone had reached up her skirt and grabbed her," said Chico Police Officer Justin Adrian.

That was the fifth time police charged Smith this month.

"They've been ranging from harassment to shoplifting to prowling and arson and battery," Adrian said. "He's been booked on misdemeanor charges every time so usually when you're booked on a misdemeanor charge you get cited and released with a notice to appear in court and he's still in custody right now because we went through an extra process to justify to keep him there."

A woman who works at a coffee shop on Nord Avenue says its concerning.

"We've got a lot of women around here and students," Vettel said.  "It's scary like what do we do about this what can you do. I guess maybe just get the word out there, put his face on the news." 

Butte County College student Eleanor Gonzalez lives on Nord Avenue and says she's on edge.

"There's a bunch of college kids here so everyone's always out," Gonzalez said. "So if he gets loose again, what is preventing him from doing it again?"

Adrian said they are hoping the court will figure out a way to keep Smith out of trouble in the future.

"The behavior is definitely concerning," Adrian said. "It seems to be escalating and that's why we took the extra measure to keep him in jail as long as we can." 

Smith will be in court Friday, Sept. 21. 

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Thursday was the last fairly quiet weather day that we'll have in northern California as a series of storms will move our way through next week. Our first chance for rain and snow showers arrives Friday morning with a cold front.
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