Thieves target copper, vehicles in Folsom

Rise in thefts prompts police chief to hold community meeting
By: Laura Newell, Telegraph staff writer
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FOLSOM, CA - In recent weeks, residential and business thefts have been filling up Folsom police crime logs, sparking the police chief to hold a community meeting. This month more than 10 vehicles, businesses and residential homes were targeted in the Folsom area for theft including home items, copper wire and garage door openers. Main areas recently targeted in Folsom include Iron Point Road, Glenn Drive, Willow Creek Drive and other residential neighborhoods. Mike Freeman, 51, has lived in Briggs Ranch in Folsom for 14 years, with his family of four. The home loan consultant discovered he was a victim of theft the morning of Dec. 6 while walking out to grab the newspaper on his driveway at 7 a.m. “As I made the turn on my driveway walking down, I saw that my garage door was up, and thought, ‘That’s not right,’” Freeman said. “I had two sets of golf clubs standing upright in my garage, I just bought one of them and quickly saw that my new set were gone.” He said he then noticed the driver and passenger side doors were open on his truck. It’s uncertain if the doors were locked the previous prior, he said. Freeman said the only item missing from his vehicle was his remote control garage door opener. “I feel violated, this is my stuff,” he said. “If they want new stuff, they should go get a job and earn it.” The thieves most likely struck between 1 and 5 a.m., he said. “They opened the garage door, took the clubs, went through my wife’s (unlocked) car in the garage and left,” Freeman said. Nothing was missing from her vehicle, he said. This was not the first incident in the Briggs Ranch area, Freeman said. “A vehicle was stolen a day or so before in my neighborhood,” he said. “Also, about three months ago, another neighbor of mine had a car stolen out of their garage after a garage door opener was stolen in the same manner.” Freeman then wrote a letter to city officials explaining his concerns. The crimes initiated Folsom Police Chief Cynthia Renaud to hold a community meeting to educate residents on crime prevention. “I know the chief is new to Folsom and she wants to put a good step forward,” Freeman said. “I applaud her efforts and support her 100 percent in doing this. I understand why this is important to do now, before the holidays, so that we can jump while the iron is hot.” The community meeting held Monday, Dec. 26, was one of more community meetings Renaud plans to hold for Folsom residents. Recently she has also held coffee chats with Folsom officers. “The chief is very committed to having a partnership with the community to reduce the already low crime in Folsom,” said Sgt. Jason Browning, Folsom Police spokesperson. “This is another way to communicate with the community and keep people safe.” He said many times, thefts are a result of being “your own victim.” “People can take the steps to learn how to prevent these crimes,” Browning said. “People should use common sense, don’t leave valuable items in plain view and always lock doors and windows. In Folsom the key is working to prevent being a victim through practicing good safety habits.” Neighborhoods can also work to stay proactive in preventing crimes by staying alert and reporting unusual incidents. “I want to bring all this to the forefront. I’m not an isolated incident in Briggs Ranch,” Freeman said. “I think by bringing it to everyone’s attention to be aware of our surroundings, we will be able to take care of ourselves and our neighbors to help prevent these incidences from happening in the future.” To report a crime, call the Folsom Police Department at (916) 355-7234. * * * Editor’s note:?Next week find out what residents think about this issue. If you have been a victim of theft, call reporter Laura Newell at (916) 351-3742.