Gang problem lurks in Live Oak: Graffiti war latest issue, could lead to more violence

Full story: Santa Cruz Sentinel

A fatal gang shooting on 17th Avenue in late January drew attention to a problem Live Oak residents have noticed for quite some time: gangs are rife in their neighborhoods.
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1 - 20 of 165 Comments Last updated Dec 1, 2013
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PLaYDouGh

Scotts Valley, CA

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#1
Mar 2, 2008
 
This is sad, I remember when Live Oak was a peaceful place
jarbee

Hayward, CA

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#2
Mar 2, 2008
 
"Sarah Winterburn, the Graffiti Removal Project coordinator for the Volunteer Centers of Santa Cruz, said her group has seen a three-fold increase in the amount of graffiti in Live Oak and Soquel in recent months."

This function should be part of the Sheriff's Department. It is not a volunteer job. Graffiti must be removed within 24hrs. A deputy should be photographing all graffiti and uploading it to a database. The information can be shared with other law enforcement agencies (try SoCal) to find the connections to bigger gangs.

Until Graffiti removal is taken seriously and is an official function of the Sheriff's Dept, then the gang problems are only going to get worse.

Please be sure to ask John Leopold, candidate for County Supervisor, what his plan is for dealing with gangs and crime in Live Oak.
Chanti Rez

United States

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#4
Mar 2, 2008
 
I would love to see how anybody is going to pay for that function of the Sheriff Dept. That agency is at a 90 deputy deficiency right now. Why don't you do what we did and wash it off yourself; or sand it down if on wood. Paint over it or something. The police can do only so much, it's up to the citizens to maintain order.
Chanti Rez

United States

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#5
Mar 2, 2008
 
by the way, the location is live oak, not san fran, I live on chanticleer in live oak.
LO resident

Santa Cruz, CA

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#8
Mar 2, 2008
 
We live in the neighborhood that the shooter ran through last month. A few days later we had organized a watch group and held a meeting on the same night that the live oak report was released. We asked for the sheriff to attend but they did not and they still have not responded to our requests to meet. I am shocked that the sheriff's office claims the neigbors 'have not acted with gusto'. We have reacted with resolve and organized ourselves despite the terror of having armed murderers running around. We know the residents and police have to work together to stop gang violence and we have done our part. How can the sheriff's office engage in divisive language in an interview and accuse us of sitting on our thumbs when our neighborhood watch group was blown off by the sheriff's office. Let's get it together and work together. Come to the neighborhood meetings instead of blaming us for inaction. And let's all act stop the gang bangers from bringing fear to our community and destroying our quality of life.
jarbee

Hayward, CA

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#9
Mar 2, 2008
 
Chanti Rez wrote:
I would love to see how anybody is going to pay for that function of the Sheriff Dept. That agency is at a 90 deputy deficiency right now. Why don't you do what we did and wash it off yourself; or sand it down if on wood. Paint over it or something. The police can do only so much, it's up to the citizens to maintain order.
How about a little Homeland Security funds to help with this task?

I don't expect to see officers scrubbing walls, but I do think being vigilant against graffiti is vital to get a grip on the gang situation. The Sheriff Dept needs to administer a graffiti program- I'll leave it to them to hire people to paint. Just like in health care- it's cheaper and more effective to prevent an illness than to wait for that illness to spread. Graffiti is a symptom of a much bigger illness. We can't afford to wait.
LO resident

Santa Cruz, CA

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#10
Mar 2, 2008
 
Apologies to the sheriff's office for accusing them of divisive language. I reread the article and it was actually another resident who said he did not feel like people were doing anything and the sentinel that incorrectly reported that meetings had not been scheduled. Meeting have occurred and disappointingly the sheriffs did not attend but hopefully they can attend the next ones.
Mike

Palo Alto, CA

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#11
Mar 2, 2008
 
The problem is that Santa Cruz County is a sanctuary city. A large majority of the street gangs are children of illegal aliens. Any sheriff's deputy who dare ask the immigration status of an arrestee will be met by an ambitious layer from the attorney general's office. So cops play it safe and treat the gangs with kit gloves.

Meanwhile, we have Open Borders, Congressman Sam Farr, who has publicly compared hard working ICE agents to the German Gestapo.

As long as the illegal alien problem is not dealt with and the cops refuse to coordinate operations with ICE,as long as we have representatives who do not work in our best interest, as long as employers to continue to hire illegal aliens with a nod-and-a-wink from our government, the gang problem will only get worse.
jet cougar

Trabuco Canyon, CA

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#12
Mar 2, 2008
 
live oak? dang...Ive seen an increase of graffiti all over the county...on every bus stop even the nice new stops with shelters, street signs, newly painted buildings, and more...I heard the county used to have a task force and was dismantled due to budgets...I agree with jarbee...with the task force, graffiti artists are leaving their marks...evidence..."csi " like style and you can probely catch the gang bangers pre-vandilism, murders and robberies.
Chris F

Santa Cruz, CA

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#13
Mar 2, 2008
 
Remove the detention officers responsible for the 2005 death of inmate Cross (Sentinel article 3/1/08) , and reassign them to full time graffiti removal.
PP_local

United States

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#14
Mar 2, 2008
 
We have been seeing more graffiti lately and there does seem to be more of a criminal element in our neighborhoods. Not just gang bangers, but meth-users and homeless derelicts and petty thieves. I think what seems to be an increase in criminal activity in Live Oak is part of a bigger problem. Live Oak is unincorporated, so we don't get the resources that Capitola and Santa Cruz residents take for granted, especially when it comes to education and law enforcement. One of the other folks who posted to this board made the comment that most gang bangers are the children of illegal immigrants? I don't know if that statement is true, but if it is true then our federal and state government needs to do a better job securing our boarders and educating those people who we do let enter our country.
Kaseysplanet

Gig Harbor, WA

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#20
Mar 2, 2008
 
It would be impossible to allow hunting permits for residents to rid themselves of these menaces (names withheld because they are under 18),
and ultimately make the neighborhoods even more unsafe. But the idea isn't too far-fetched. According to todays Parade Magazine, Sylvester Stallone plans to go from Rocky and Rambo to Charles Bronsons 'Death Wish' franchise so at least we can vicariously enjoy seeing 'gangstas' turned into pulp. Even the ultra-liberal's will get a kick out of it.
Jerry

United States

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#21
Mar 2, 2008
 
It's too bad our county just lost $3million because law enforcement was trying to do it's job. Perhaps we could have used some of that money to catch these little jerks. Oh wait, I forgot Santa Cruz doesn't want the police enforcing laws and stopping our fun.
We are seeing the results of our politics being influenced by UCSC's daunting liberal presence in our town. Strip the police of nearly all authority and this is the kind of town we will continue to live in.
renesands

San Diego, CA

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#22
Mar 2, 2008
 
There is a Sheriff's Office right there on 17th Ave! If their presence has no impact what will?

I lived on 17th less than 4 years ago, put a lot of work into making a nice garden on my corner, and saw the neighborhood turning from "stupid kid" mischief kinds of trouble to more and more tagging. I always painted out the grafitti as fast as I could, but noticed that after I moved the next renters did not. There are wonderful, hard working families of diverse backgrounds living in a part of Santa Cruz where rents are in reach of people making less than $50K/year.

My memory of Servando (last month's fatality) is of his middle school visit to sing Christmas carols for the "old folks" at Brommer Manor. They all wanted to pinch his round cheeks and he was SO patient with them. I can't imagine what turns his life took, but I wanted his family to know that at least one person remembers him in his kindness.
duck beak

Hayward, CA

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#23
Mar 2, 2008
 
the punks can run murders from jail-and will threaten anyone who dare 'snitch" em off.

reccommend an intensive martial arts course-free of charge-to any one who needs it(background check and interview before training-level the playing field)

my buddy-back from Iraq-had rocks n bottles thrown at him-from punks calling him a f...got n 'troll'.

he sent me an email-not joking-that he feels "safer" now-back in Iraq

take the gloves off-the only thing these punks "respect" are draconian penalties-or public humilation-20 thousand hours scrubbing there VOMIT stuff off the walls

make a threat to a witness?-do life-w.o parole

dead sick of bleeding hearts-they are punks-treat em like we do the terror freaks In Iraq-they are enemy.

we may have to kick out some low level non vilent drug offenses and other low level stuff like warrants n stuff)-to give the violent sap punks the life terms they deserve-we do NOT want em back.
JFS

Kapaau, HI

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#24
Mar 2, 2008
 
LO resident wrote:
We live in the neighborhood that the shooter ran through last month. A few days later we had organized a watch group and held a meeting on the same night that the live oak report was released. We asked for the sheriff to attend but they did not and they still have not responded to our requests to meet. I am shocked that the sheriff's office claims the neigbors 'have not acted with gusto'. We have
reacted with resolve and organized ourselves despite the terror of having armed murderers running around. We know the residents and police have to work together to stop gang violence and we have done our part. How can the sheriff's office engage in divisive language in an interview and accuse us of sitting on our thumbs when our neighborhood watch group was blown off by the sheriff's office. Let's get it together and work together. Come to the neighborhood meetings instead of blaming us for inaction. And let's all act stop the gang bangers from bringing fear to our community and destroying our quality of life.
The Sheriff's Office does not even have enough deputies to keep up with the crimes in progress. I'm sure they would like to go to your meeting, but they probably can't. How would you like to be a victim of a serious crime. Then find out it took an hour to get to your problem because the deputy was at a neighborhood watch meeting? Use some common sense and don't blame the deputies that are the ones trying fight the very crimes that this article was about.
duck beak

Hayward, CA

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#25
Mar 2, 2008
 
hi tech gear for an evening walk???

2 hidden cameras and hi tech mics(if killed.harrassed by the freaks-or harassed-you have there photo and words.....

2 pistols with night scopes

knife proof body wear

kickboxing boots

and a buddy or TRAINED police dog if possible-and instant contact to law enforcment-tho by the time they arrive-it will be to pick up my corpse.

i AM pro death penalty-if 100% proven-or life without parole if ANY slight doubt of guilt
Matt Kemp

United States

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#26
Mar 2, 2008
 
Fortunately school is not for these hoods so we'll never have to deal with an intelligent and educated banger - that would put them higher up on the social ladder. Right now, they are just smoking each other for the most part which is good - they self-regulate. I dig the Aztec haircuts and images. If they knew a little more about Aztec culture they would find out that the Aztecs had mandatory education for all boys.
Daphne Moon

Watsonville, CA

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#28
Mar 2, 2008
 
I moved out of Live Oak almost 5 years ago, because I saw where it was headed. The 7-Eleven on Portola had become a den of thieves and drug dealers, and calls to the Sheriff's office were so late in getting answered that the problem only got worse before I left.
Every Sheriff's vehicle should be out on patrol.
Now we have the same problem with taggers in Capitola, yet there the patrol cars sit, in the City Hall parking lot, gathering dust. Smash & grab vehicle burglaries are on the rise on Capitola Avenue, yet again...dusty cars.
When the police return to patroling, instead of siting around Starbucks with their over-priced lattes, we'll maybe see some hope.
graffiti lover

United States

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#29
Mar 2, 2008
 
i love the graffiti. when i see kids doing it, i encourage them and give them a high five.

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