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Orchard Valley plum pickings for auto burglars
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I am writing this letter on “behalf” of my 4-year-old daughter who was robbed on Sunday night while watching a movie in the new Promenade Shopping Center at the Kerasotes Show Place 16 Movie Theater.

After watching a movie we returned to our car which was parked in the middle of the parking lot, in a very lighted area next to the new Red Robin that is being built next to the theater, between Bass Pro Shop and Best Buy. My point is that we were parked smack in the middle of the parking lot – not way out where there were no other cars.

When we got back to our car, we realized that things were not right. There was stuff scattered all over our car, obviously, someone had been in our car and stole our 4-year-old’s DVD player, all of her kids movies, her pink head phones, and some kids CD’s that were in a visor CD holder. The power cables for both her CD player and our phone charger were also taken out of the cigarette lighters.

We called Manteca Police to make a report. I also walked over to Bass Pro Shops and Bass Pro Shops security helped us out, and then the shopping center security came and helped us too.

The point of my letter to you is what we learned regarding the security at the Promenade Shopping Center:

We were told that there were no security cameras that monitored the area of the parking lot we were parked. Really? We were parked smack dab in the middle of the parking lot! That there are at least three to four car break-ins a week. That the people breaking into the cars have been popping the locks out, breaking windows and using Slim Jims, that when security is handling an issue on one side of the parking lot, the people breaking in are on the other side of the parking lot breaking into people’s cars.

There are no warning signs to park at your own risk simply, there is not enough security!

I wanted to write to you with hope that you could inform the readers to please make sure that they do not leave anything of importance in their car, and to park in the Bass Pro Shops parking lot at their own risk.

It is a sad day when you have to explain to your 4-year-old that there are bad people in the world, and that we were actually lucky considering that it seems that we forgot to lock one of our doors and that the “bad guys” were able to just open the door and take what they wanted to take rather than damaging our car to steal a 4-year-old’s stuff!!

I was so excited about the new shopping center, now I am disheartened. I will not be returning until I am assured that I can park my car and walk away without someone breaking into it. I am a reasonable person, and understand that “these things happen” but, at the same time, I believe it is only fair to at least warn people of the possibility of their car being broken into while visiting the Promenade shops.

The security guards thanked us for taking the time to make a report, as they were happy to have the statistics to “prove” that they needed more help.
Michelle Jimenez
Jan. 4, 2010