Report: Over 250 Gold Robberies in Stockton Since April: Police Taken By Surprise
November 20th, 2012
With the price of gold reaching all time highs as recently as this summer, it’s not just investors who are paying attention.
Predators who have nothing left to lose are as equally interested in the asset. It’s not only a portable store of value, but just about every American has some type of gold in their possession, be it a wedding ring or necklace.
In Stockton, California, where skyrocketing crime has left over 60 people dead this year, police and city officials are being overrun with reports of gold chain robberies. Since April there have been over 250 such armed robberies, culminating in the September death of a man who just happened to be taking a casual stroll through a local park.
As a result of rising crime in the city, residents are being more cautious, with many of them choosing to stay at home rather than risk being assaulted or murdered in a city that has seen its coffers bankrupted and its public workforce gutted.
Almost everyone walking the park knows the story of Armando Pina — even two months after the deadly broad-daylight gold chain robbery that ended his life, parkgoers said.
“It’s sad,” said Robert Alejandre, who now walks the park with his wife. “It just goes to show you you never know.”
“Fewer people seem to be walking,” said Jim Patterson, who continues to exercise at the park — but removes any jewelry first.
Pina — a 60-year-old cancer survivor, father and grandfather — was killed around 3 p.m. Sept. 17, as he walked along the park’s southern walkway, parallel to Picardy Drive.
Pina’s was the first murder in a boom of gold chain robberies in the troubled city.
Robbers have stolen approximately 250 chains since April — more than one every day.