- Video shows two local businesses that were broken into, something they say is on the rise in the area.
- Pinecone Plaza is right off Route 202 in Tehachapi. Business owners say theft is becoming more common, and they met with the Kern County Sheriff's Office recently to make sure they have proper security in place.
- One local business owner, Jamie Karschamroon, told 23ABC, “We all gotta work together. We’re just not little businesses, we’re a family, and we need to have each other’s backs.”
The Kern County District Attorney's Office is hoping to get a piece of legislation on the Nov. ballot that would target several issues in the community, including retail theft. At the Pinecone Plaza off Route 202, business owners tell 23ABC they are far too familiar with that type of crime.
"It's the first time I've ever seen a tear come down from my Dad's eye. And that's not–it's not cool at all."
Chris Jadric's family owns the martial arts center in Pinecone Plaza. Over the past few years, he says they've had around five attempted break-ins.
"We've had at least two times where they actually broke in. One time was really bad where they did a bunch of damage," Jadric said. "They broke all the windows in here, and they went in the dressing rooms and took stuff out of there. They broke a mirror in the bathroom. [It was] just senseless vandalism."
He says the most recent break-in was in January 2023. His parents own the Tehachapi Martial Arts Center, and he said the break-ins have been really hard on his family.
"It made us angry and also made us upset. My folks are elderly, so they've been through a lot already," Jadric said. "It’s upsetting.”
And he says, unfortunately, their business was not the only one targeted.
Jamie Karschamroon, the owner of J's Hideaway, says her diner was broken into.
"Christmas Eve morning, we got broken into," said Karschamroon. "Nothing was damaged, so I believe I was pretty blessed that way. They just took a simple staple gun which we actually found a couple of days later. They were looking for money which I, of course, do not have it here at the end of the day."
Businesses in the plaza say theft is a common problem... and Jamie says recently, the Kern County Sheriff's Office held a meeting to offer advice for security, including increased lighting and cameras.
"They gave us a lot of good advice. So we went through and wrote down all our phone numbers," said Karschamroon. "I started a mass text so that if anyone sees anything from this building, or behind us…if you see something, you say something."
Chris Jadric says another piece of advice was to always report any incidents.
"The Sheriff told us the more that it's reported, the more they start seriously looking at stuff," said Jadric. "So, I guess it takes a bunch of people."
This area is one of many neighborhoods in Kern County that is within the sheriff's jurisdiction.
"Sadly, our law enforcement has been stretched so thin that it's hard to get them out here," Karschamroon said. "They are all wonderful men, but they're between Rosamond, California City, Mojave, Boron...and then to come to us, they have to go to the most needed areas."
And, the owners need a solution to this devastating problem.
"A lot of us for our small businesses, this is our life. This is all that we have left–our life savings, our dreams, passions are all in it, so we want to just protect what we have," Karschamroon said.
Karschamroon said the Sheriff's Office gave the businesses information to properly report any incidents. According to the paperwork, the sheriff's non-emergency line is (661) 861-3110, and for outlying communities, you can call 1-800-861-3110. Tips can be texted to TIP411 (847-411) or made online on their website.
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