Jenni Klein woke up the morning of May 1 to discover her purse, various household tools, pieces of art and her Acura TSX missing from her home in Mandalay Bay. She and her husband, Jeff, forgot to close their garage door before going to sleep the night before — it was trash day — leaving their house open to intruders. As a result, they were burglarized. And it happened in an area of Oxnard they presumed was safe from the kind of crime that occurs in other parts of the city.
When she alerted police, Jenni Klein expected a swift response, for the authorities to immediately begin going through the procedures to determine the culprit and help her to possibly retrieve her belongings. But what she alleges she found when officers finally arrived at her home — over an hour after she placed the call, she claims — was apathy.
“They didn’t seem to care,” says Klein, who moved to the neighborhood from Santa Monica two years ago. “They didn’t take prints, they didn’t talk to neighbors.”
Two months later, her husband’s car was stolen out of their driveway. Again, Klein says, the officers’ comments revealed a distinct lack of concern.
“To be shown such indifference when you’ve been hit twice like that is ridiculous,” she says.
The Kleins are not the only Mandalay Bay residents to be victimized in recent months. According to the Oxnard Police Department’s crime statistics for Beat 21 — a patrol area that covers Oxnard Shores, Hollywood Beach, Silver Strand, Mandalay Bay and neighborhoods east to Ventura Road and north to Teal Club Road — over 140 of the 160 crimes that have occurred in the region between May and July were residential and automobile burglaries, armed and unarmed robberies or vehicle thefts. But Steve Blanchard, patrol watch commander for Beat 21, says this is nothing he would classify as a “crime wave.”
“Sometimes crimes go in spurts,” he says, “not just in this part of town, but in other parts of town.”
Despite the apparent “spurt” of crime in the area that includes Mandalay Bay, Klein says she has not seen any patrol vehicles in the neighborhood.
Blanchard declined to comment specifically on the Kleins’ incident or on Jenni Klein’s accusations of police indifference, but says “policing strategies change with what is occurring and with what they’re trying to prevent. To say everything is done equally at the same time would be difficult to say because you’re responding to what’s coming up with different stats every week. It depends on what the neighborhood problem is.”
Jenni Klein sent a letter to Councilmember John Zaragoza informing him of the police department’s lackadaisical reaction to her burglary and auto theft. Zaragoza says he is “very concerned about it,” and referred the e-mail to City Manager Edmund Sotelo and Police Chief John Crombach.
Meanwhile, Klein is hoping to put together a neighborhood watch group in lieu of the alleged lack of patrol cars in the Mandalay Bay area.