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February 18, 2014 > Letter to editor: A heartbreaking theft

Letter to editor: A heartbreaking theft

Our experience with Newark PD, Officer Arroyo, as our case officer, has been excellent. Spending many sleepless nights remembering the items stored in our stolen truck, and all of the memories and fears of ramifications that go along with the theft of passports, our financial data and personal treasures that are irreplaceable, is beyond painful. Sorting through the trash they left in our truck, sawed up toddler bike parts, a baby sandal, misc. metal and electronics, and other peopleÕs addresses, we realize that this is a professional operation.

They [the thieves] know that all they have to do is to drive 10 miles and they might as well have driven to Afganistan. They know that they will not be caught. The paper trail is monumental, if our case is typical. Our list of missing items is huge, since we are not only working on a project but were visiting our family and then planned on spending the winter in southern California. Just remembering the tools we have collected for our work over 20 years, plus the personal items, means that any case officer must spend untold hours just recording, in case there is a suspect arrested.

For a theft that takes them a few hours, officers must spend so much more than that, just to fill out the forms. Then we assume the paper goes to some main brain depository where no one reads it and it is never followed up on. Obviously, with so few officers and our loss being one without violence, it just doesnÕt even make the list.

Without a team of people, who can actually cross city lines, or state lines to follow up on these professional thieves, how can they be stopped? Everyone knows the trickle down affects of these people, violence in the home, shootings in the streets, child abuse, passing the disease on to the next generation. It is a cancer that has invaded this beautiful state. We came from California, have lived and worked here for many years, every winter. It is heart breaking to see this state becoming a place where the average hardworking citizen cannot work or live safely.

The system is broken if this criminal activity canÕt be stopped and victims cannot have their items restored. We have thousands of well trained soldiers returning to this country in need of work. CanÕt they create a task force to take our streets back?

This was our year to retire. All we had were the memories, pictures and collected treasures from over the years. If some good citizen finds trash bags full of our personal papers, pictures, videos, jewelry, please report it to Officer Arroyo at the Newark Police Department. If it is not our life treasures, it might be yours.

Terry and Alan Lyle

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