'Not so petty' theft for some store owners

Posted at 2:58 PM, Feb 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-04 20:32:54-05

Mr. Ly is well known and well liked by customers who visit the Mobil Mart on Union Ave. every day.

Unfortunately, thieves 'really' like him, too.

The longtime fixture at this central Bakersfield location says he chases bad guys out of the store on a daily basis.

Sometimes he catches them in the act, and sometimes he doesn't.

He puts the average at about one in five, favoring the criminals.

The store has more than 30 video cameras inside and out and many of these low level criminals are caught in the act, just not enough.

And, Mr. Ly said the Bakersfield Police Dept. isn't doing enough to help him.

Sgt. Gary Carruesco tells 23ABC, the location of the store, quality of life issues in the area and transient population all work against him.

He said officers do respond to complaints, but given the nature of the call, it sometimes takes a back seat to more serious offenses.

Proposition 47 was passed by voters in November of 2014, reducing low level, non-violent crimes involving drugs and petty theft, from felonies to misdemeanors.

The District Attorney's office said they still prosecute petty theft cases, 1,837 last year, but that number is down from 2014 when they had 2,570.

Many misdemeanor convictions still carry up to six months in jail, although many inmates might serve half of that with work credit.

As for Mr. Ly, he said he'll continue to chase these shoplifters as he sees them, and hopes something can be done to help him win the battle on his tiny intersection in Bakersfield.