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 in the form of a coin, 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.
Most of those robberies occur in broad daylight.
“It is an uphill battle,” said Sgt. Larry Parino of the Stockton Police Department.
Reported suspects are predominantly male (98 percent), of which 79 percent are black males ages 13-25, police said, and 9 percent Hispanic males 13-25. The majority of arrests were black males ages 13-25.
Most victims of the robberies are female (65 percent), and 44 percent of victims are age 50 or older, the data showed. The most common time of day for the crimes were between 12 and 5 p.m., though this only accounts for about a third of the crime.
Parino said robbers took even police by surprise initially.
Source: CBS Sacramento
Anything of value is up for grabs, especially in an economy on the brink of disaster.
In a related story also out of the Sacramento, CA area, businesses have been given permission to raise high voltage electric fencing around their grounds in an effort to prevent the theft of copper.
With food prices rising, jobs disappearing and government safety nets unable to offset the destruction of Americans’ wealth, even food has become a target. In Indianapolis, community gardens have seen a rise in thefts and vandalism, with thieves helping themselves to tomatoes, greens, potatoes and other produce.
As police find themselves undermanned and outgunned in gang war zones throughout America, criminals will continue to become more brash, targeting anyone who is suspected of being in possession of something of value.
If you are making an effort to protect your personal and financial interests through the acquisition of physical assets and other long-term survival investments, you must be prepared to defend them yourself. Local law enforcement officials simply do not have the resources available to protect everyone all the time.
So, the next time you make a trip to the mall or local park wearing your gold wedding ring or chain, be sure to have some lead on hand as well.
We’re now living in a world where some individuals are prepared to take your life for a $40 necklace.