by Dante DeAmicis
Let’s face it. People are getting their stuff ripped off everywhere. However, styles and techniques of informal property transfers vary from place to place. The, ahem, personalities of the local feral humans also have a lot to do with the preferred method of redistribution.
In Clearlake, the “rooter” is king of the kleptos. Traditional specialties, such as car thieves and home invaders have the normal representation in our city but due to shear numbers and audacity the rooter dominates the dirt bag field in our little war zone.
The rooter is less common in big cities so newcomers to Clearlake may be surprised that what they assume to be a fluke may become a regular recurrence, as they get hit again and again. It may be that the rooter is a mutant of the downtown mugger species, as our low density does not encourage the latter.
The rooter does not take as much time as your typical burglar. They are not going to come up with a vehicle to make a big haul. They forage on foot and move fast, looking for easy entry points. Most of the time they grab a couple of things in plain view, such as a bicycle or power tool, then quickly slip back into the shadows of our overgrown landscape. If they drop something going over a fence they rarely go back for it.
Sometimes these creatures detect an unlocked garage or storage shed. Then the frenzy starts. They will slip in and immediately start dumping boxes over and throwing things around, grabbing as much as they can run with in about 2 or 3 minutes of thrashing. This is an express procedure.
Clearlake has hundreds of these lower life forms, hitting anyone and everyone who has something that can be stolen fast. Usually more damage is done than theft. After 10 or 12 unwanted visits stunned victims stop calling the police, which is fine with the Chamber of Commerce.
The rooters’ audacity leaves residents who have been rooted several times feeling very vulnerable and insecure. Their greater than average boldness is due to few cops, few roads they can drive on as the human varmints scamper cross country, and the fact that prison is no deterrent for ex cons brought up in the rooter culture.
So the bad news is this feral, usually out of sight population, does not fear our spread thin police or mind going to jail too much if they are unlucky enough to be caught. The good news is since being caught is no big deal, I haven’t seen too much violent resistance when confronted by annoyed homeowners.
In my case, because this is what I’m getting to, I’ve been hit so many times by rooters I can’t count them. But still, the dozen plus rooter attacks add up to losing fewer valuables than my one systematic burglary, involving at least 3 thieves, one pick-up truck, and one directing fence, based on my own investigation. I say “my investigation” because the police weren’t interested in my witnesses or blood left from glass cuts.
So you can see, living in Clearlake is to be continually experiencing the Buddhist ideal of non attachment as you lose property to looters. These looter rooters are what every community gets after a natural disaster. We we are getting a preview before a disaster. My advice to people without rooter insurance is to carry a heavy backpack to hold everything small you can’t afford to have stolen.