State Law Responsible for Lax Law Enforcement Leads to Vigilantism

Charles Bronson as vigilante Paul Kersey
Charles Bronson as vigilante Paul Kersey
Charles Bronson as vigilante Paul Kersey

By Steve Pomper  

Police in Vasilia, California arrested, not a bike thief, but the victims of that thief. A young couple was tired of being victimized by neighborhood villains. So, they placed a “bait” bicycle in their yard, and when thieves tried to steal the bike, the couple ambushed and assaulted the cretins.

The man and woman took the law into their own hands after, they say, they’d become repeated crime victims. The couple said they’d suffered a car prowl the first night in their Vasilia home. They alleged three days later someone broke into their car again. Frustrated with these criminals, they put a bicycle in their yard, so they could catch anyone who tried to steal it.

According to Fox News, citing a statement from the Vasilia Police Department, Corey Cornutt, 25 and Savannah Grillot, 29 “inflicted non-life-threatening injuries upon four different people [alleged thieves] between July and November 2019.” They allegedly used a baseball bat. Do I feel bad for the criminals? Um, no.

I don’t endorse vigilantism, but I’d be disingenuous if I said I didn’t understand and sympathize with the couple’s frustration. Now, nothing in the story indicates the police would not have responded or investigated the couple’s incidents. And, the Vasilia police may know more about this couple and nuances of the story that could change the perspective. For example, the couple may also be ne’er-do-wells. Still, we can only comment on what we know.

Police say the pair did not report any of the six crimes (two car prowls and four attempted bike thefts). Vasilia P.D. cites the lack of filing a police report as the reason they arrested none of the alleged bike thieves. And this is where my mind diverted toward looking at this case more broadly.

Let’s fill in some blanks. First, I’m assuming the “bait” bike was worth less than $950. Also, local and state governments policies and laws have forced lax law enforcement on too many American communities. This is particularly true in California where Prop 47 essentially de-criminalized thefts of items valued at under $950.

The proposition reclassified some felonies as misdemeanors. The measure even worked retroactively, reducing some convicted felons’ prison sentences and releasing others. How could California’s crime victims not feel vulnerable, powerless, and abandoned by their government?

I don’t know if Cornutt and Grillot were aware of Prop 47, but it seems reasonable that they were. They are just two among many Californians tired of having their property stolen with no accountability for the criminals.

Virtue-signaling politicians sold Prop 47, to a population made increasingly compliant by a complicit, brainwashing media and academia, as a “remedy” for courts and jails clogged with cases of people who’d committed “survival” crimes.

Proponents cited the hungry person stealing food, homeless folks stealing clothing, or the mother stealing formula for her baby. In fact, Fox News interviewed a young woman named “Cassie” in San Francisco’s notorious Tenderloin District. She is 21, an ex-heroin addict, and the mother of a two-year-old.

Cassie said, “If my babies need diapers or formula, who is going to get that for me? No one. I have to do it. They ain’t out here arresting people for (shoplifting) and everyone knows it.” Apparently, that’s true. So, why would people like Cornutt and Grillot report a theft they don’t believe police will investigate and know the prosecutor won’t charge?

Also, in California and other cities run by anti-law and order social justice warriors, I suppose people should now consider car break-ins and bicycle thefts as “survival” crimes too, right? Makes sense in Bizarro World.

American (and California) government’s primary duty is to protect the people’s rights. The Constitution guarantees the people’s property rights. So, what happens to that “right” when a person can abridge it with impunity, and the government refuses to protect it?

I guess we just add it to the list of rights that are no longer rights: Free Speech (curbed by “hate speech”), Keep and Bear Arms (infringed by “commonsense” gun laws), and Private Property (rendered “up for grabs” by gutless politicians and gullible voters).

So, the thieves victimizing a neighborhood go free while two frustrated crime victims are arrested. I’ll let you reconcile that oxymoronic mash-up in your own way.

Fox News reported what seems to be a happy legacy from the couple’s dubious actions. Reportedly, neighbors say their neighborhood remained theft-free even months after the couple’s arrest.

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