BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – So you think Bakersfield’s homeless problem is confined to the downtown area? As one local woman can attest – think again.
The behavior we commonly associate with homelessness and mental illness, in particular, is so pervasive, it reaches the far corners of this 150-square-mile city, and beyond.
Just ask Angela Lawrence, who discovered this agitated predawn guest when she reviewed a security video at her home near Frontier High School, in northwest Bakersfield, seven miles from the nearest homeless navigation center. It was May 14.
“You see her going around to each [door] … to the front of my house on both sides,” Lawrence said. “To my front door. She pounded on the door trying to get in. …. And then you don’t see her again until she walks out my front door about 40 minutes later.”
The woman carted off various household items – most of which she simply cast off onto lawns throughout the neighborhood. The woman appears to have taken a shower, wrapped herself in a dog blanket and then tried to lock the front door on her way out. Well, that was considerate of her, at least.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought,” Lawrence said, laughing.
Lawrence posted a video of the break-in on Facebook and, what do you know, Walmart employees commented that they’d seen her sleeping on the ground outside their store and bragging about her predawn exploits.
“The [Walmart] employees say they’ve overheard her talking on the phone, talking about different homes that she had broken into and cars she had gotten into and items she had stolen,” Lawrence said. “… The items that they said she had stolen were accurate as to some of the items she took from our home.”
It could have been so much worse – for both parties, victim and perpetrator.
“It could have been her or me,” Lawrence said.
It’s perhaps fortunate neither was ever aware of the other.
Lawrence said the incident is a sign of the times.
More and more you see the homeless population throughout the county,” she said. “I know that the county has made several attempts to rectify that situation but it’s kind of hard. But you see them going out into neighborhoods further and further away from the center of town, where the help is.”
What lesson can we take away from this?
Lock your doors, lock your windows and don’t assume that because you live on the outer edges of the city, you’re safe from this kind of thing.