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Sierra student arrested after gym thefts

By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Over the last six weeks, Rocklin Police at Sierra College have seen a number of thefts at the gym on campus. One active victim tracked down the alleged suspect and an arrest was made. Sierra College student athlete Jesus Chavez, 19, was arrested Nov. 1 for being in possession of stolen property. The same day, three victims were identified as having lost an iPod and two cell phones from their lockers. The thefts were valued at nearly $700. “Students are always in a hurry and they’re closing the locker door, but they’re not checking to see if the lock is secured and rotating the dial,” Officer Joyce Metzger said. “It’s been an ongoing thing.” Chavez was stopped at the Safeway on Granite Drive after a teenage victim followed him from the campus. “Initially he denied he had any cell phones; then he said he remembered finding one on the locker room floor,” Metzger said. Chavez is a Rocklin resident who has reportedly wrestled for Sierra College. Sierra College basketball point guard Cameron Phillips was concerned by the news of the thefts. “It’s surprising,” Phillips said. “Not much goes on in there except the sports teams. My locker has a lock on it all the time. I keep my cell phones and my bags and lock it up.” Second-year student Bill Adams, who’s been a victim of theft, is not surprised and said he watches his stuff closely. “It is a pretty free place to walk around in – no supervision,” Adams said. “I don’t think it is too smart to leave your cell phone or MP3 player in an unlocked locker.” Even so, Adams said he doesn’t leave his electronics in his locked locker opting to keep it on his person or at home. Rugby team member Daniel Weathers goes a step further and locks his valuables in his trunk.  “I have experienced theft multiple times at wrestling tournaments. I paid the consequences for it,” Weathers said. “I don’t use the lockers in the gym. I make multiple trips to my car.” Metzger said while the trunk is an acceptable place to secure valuables, students at Sierra College need to do a better job of keeping their valuables out of sight and remove cords that are a dead giveaway. “A thief is an opportunist,” Metzger said. “Half the time students are not locking up their car or leaving their windows down.” That goes for gym lockers too. “No one is going to hear a locker jimmied open because you were kind enough to leave it unlocked,” Metzger said. “Put everything out of sight and lock your doors and your lockers. It is as easy as that.” Metzger said while reports of gym thefts have stopped since the arrest, there may be other victims who have not reported their property stolen. “The other two victims did not come forward, I tracked them down,” Metzger said. “I have a feeling there were other things stolen, but people just figured, ‘Oh, there is no chance of catching somebody.’” Metzger encourages victims to come forward.