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Lathrop offers crime prevention classes
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LATHROP – During a two-week period in the summer late last year, a quiet residential neighborhood at Mossdale Landing in Lathrop was hit by a rash of brazen daytime criminal activities.

Two houses in the same block were broken into with a number of valuables stolen, including a gun taken from one of the homes. One of the homeowners narrowly missed the robbers when they came home from work, along with their son who was coming home from college in the Bay Area.

The other crime involved the theft of a car parked in front of the owner’s house. That, too, happened during the day.

Those crimes committed in broad daylight and so close to each other left the residents shaken. But not too shaken to go before the City Council, report what happened and to ask the police to beef up their patrol in their west Lathrop neighborhood. One of the people who addressed the council was Cory Mateo, Councilman Chris Mateo’s wife. Cory Mateo spoke as a concerned citizen whose house just happened to be in the same neighborhood as the victims.

During the discussion that followed, Councilman Mateo volunteered his services to the Lathrop Police. He went so far as to ask that if a civilian training program could be offered that would allow residents like him to carry a gun and a badge to help in the fight against crime in the community, he would like to be the first one in line. He would be happy to offer his volunteer services, he said.

No action was taken by the council on the councilman’s proposal.

But the police department kept the residents’ concerns in mind.

In line with the community-based policing that has been the heart of the city Police Services’ program to maintain law and order, the department is offering to all residents a Crime Prevention training session. This two-hour class will be held Tuesday, Feb. 23, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Lathrop Elementary School gymnasium.

There are three elements involved in the commission of a crime, according to the advertisement being circulated by the Police Services to invite residents to the crime-prevention class: the desire to commit the crime, the ability to commit it, and an opportunity to commit the crime. The crime-prevention class being offered will teach residents how to take away the opportunity for a crime to happen by learning the basic prevention tips offered by the Lathrop Police Services.

For more information about the upcoming session, call Community Resource Officer Andrea Lopez @ 858-5551 ext. #366 or send her an e-mail at