Lake County Sheriff Mike Taylor was on hand at the Lakeview Town Council meeting on Tuesday, July 13, addressing concerns raised by Brandon Johnson over coverage by the Sheriff’s Office in relation to the incident in which several businesses were broken into in late 2020.
Taylor said he would not discuss manpower allocations on the record, though he was willing to discuss them after the meeting. He said that the issue of the businesses which were broken into in December 2020 by Christopher Todd Hale falls more into the lap of the Lake County District Attorney who made a plea deal with Hale for 120 days in Lake County Jail and 24 months of supervised probation. Taylor said that Hale has a long criminal history and before he came to Lakeview in December, Hale had been released from Modoc County, Calif., Jail and stole a vehicle.
“We do our job. We arrest them and they end up back out on the street. Once we arrest someone it is out of our hands. We need the courts and the DA to prosecute and sentence,” said Taylor.
He said that his deputies are seeing the same people commit crimes over and over, with burglaries being a revolving door of the same suspects time after time.
“We are not getting the support we need from the DA to keep them in custody,” said Taylor. “The citizens of Lake County can’t keep going down this road.”
He said that his department is doing what it can to keep the citizens of Lake County safe from criminals. But with the DA conducting plea deals leading to stints in the County Jail, probation or occasionally in a Department of Corrections facility, Taylor believes the revolving door of the same names committing the same crimes will continue.
Taylor addressed Johnson’s concern about the Chevron break in; he said that they were able to catch Hale later the same day he committed the break-ins in Lakeview and they did their job.
“In my opinion, the DA is not doing his job. The only way to get someone new is to do a recall, he resigns, or if the people of Lake County elect someone new at the next election,” said Taylor.
He said that the known criminals will be watching the community from the hills above Lakeview and watch for a radio car to leave on a call and then use walkie-talkies to communicate with their partners. He said they are also listening to the scanner for when deputies are responding to calls. Taylor asked the Town Council to look into purchasing secure communication equipment so that people will not be able to listen into the scanner and known when the deputies are out of the community.
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