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Local Greenville residents want trucks to slow down and be reminded that kids still live here. Photo submitted

Greenville Rising: March 2- first the fire, now the crime and other issues

By Meg Upton

     It’s time for us to acknowledge something painful and difficult—there’s been a rise in crime, and much as we would like to insist that this must be the work of completely outside forces. That no one from Indian Valley would ever hurt anyone else from Indian Valley—that is probably not true. There’s more than likely a mix of both people from outside the area and from the area perpetrating crimes.

     “The sheriff’s office is aware of this ongoing issue not only in the Greenville area but there have been issues in Indian Falls and Taylorsville as well. I suspect the same thing may be happening in Canyon Dam, although I have not received reports, as well as other areas that are remote and have been affected by the fire. There have been similar issues in Westwood as well,” said Sheriff Todd Johns in an email, echoing his same address to the [Re] Build Greenville meeting on Feb. 19.

     Many locals with burned out residences have taken to social media to complain of people they’ve never seen before walking around on their properties and caught by security cameras, or passerbys’ phone videos. One resident noted last week on social media that the one thing the fire didn’t burn—her family’s woodstove—was stolen off the property before she and her family could retrieve it.

     People are walking off with tools and scavenging through lots that are not theirs.

     “My staff has been notified and are aware of this issue and are adjusting patrol shifts when possible. I continue to ask that the public report any suspicious activity they may see,” said Sheriff Johns.

     Some residents are talking about creating neighborhood watch programs to help with the vigilance of monitoring property theft.

     Sheriff Johns is aware of the multiple issues that make catching thieves difficult in Indian Valley and other areas affected by the Dixie Fire.

  “Greenville is essentially a blacked-out town, meaning little to no lighting and no residents to report issues when the thefts are actually occurring. When we are in town or responding to activity, our vehicles can be easily seen and avoided. Then there is always the issue of staffing. My staffing is limited and as such if there is a call in Chester my Deputies are pulled north and Greenville is left unattended,” said Johns.

     It sounds like a good time to go work for the sheriff’s office in Plumas County. But Sheriff Johns, is taking the situation seriously and welcomes input from the community.

     “In short I will just say we are going to continue to make adjustments to help with this issue, but there are obvious obstacles. As you know I take all crime reports within the county very serious,” said Johns.

     It would be great to note that theft and robbery were the only crimes Indian Valley is witnessing, but I would be remiss to not comment on other factors.

     Johns and others in the county are beginning to acknowledge a rise in domestic violence—which often follows trauma. The sheriff’s office is responding to all reports of domestic violence as priority calls. Domestic violence, it should be reminded, includes economic, physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse of children, adults, or elders, whether married, or dating, or the co-habitating of family members or friends. Locally, residents can contact Domestic Violence Services at (530) 283-5675. The local crisis line phone number is (877) 757-0029. Domestic violence advocacy and counseling services are available via phone or video chat, email [email protected] for more information. The National Domestic Violence Hotline number is (800) 799-7233 and is available 24 hours a day.

     In addition to all of this, residents with children are bringing it to our attention that trucks are once again speeding through Greenville as if the town and its beleaguered residents do not exist. There are still people here. We are not a ghost town, and all of us would appreciate if people adhered to the speed limit signs.

     Below is information coming in this week about Greenville recovery. As usual, we welcome any and all notifications of events and rebuilding Greenville information. Please send information to [email protected]


Mark your calendars for the next [Re] Building Greenville meeting coming up on March 19 at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Greenville Elementary School cafeteria.

Nellz Towne Pump

Have you ever been so excited to see walls begin to go up on a gas station? Me neither, but here we are.

Cleaned Lots

At the last [Re] Build Greenville meeting Supervisor Kevin Goss reported that additional soil samples dug deeper into contaminated lots came back fine. Build on! There’s many more of them now too. We’re getting there.

Resource Center

Nothing new to report this week but the center reminds residents that the Rebuilding Greenville Resource Center (RGRC) has heating assistance for Dixie Fire survivors who have woodstoves, another type of heating system, or no heating system and who need help with fuel or repairs. RGRC provides seasoned firewood, kerosene, emergency propane refills, weatherization materials, and more. For all heating assistance related needs, contact Penney Robbins at (530) 282-7000 (call or text).

     Fire survivors are encouraged to contact Plumas Rural Services (PRS) for case management services, regardless of whether they lost a home or not. Anyone impacted by the fire is eligible for support. This can include anything from identifying needs to putting together a plan of action to get re-established, including assistance to apply for financial support from the Dixie Fire Collaborative. For case management support, contact Nancy Presser at (530) 283-2735 x832 or Irshad Stolden at (530) 283-2735 x831.

     For all other unmet needs, donations, and questions about RGRC, contact Coordinator Lara Wheeler via text (preferred method of communication) at (530) 778-4309, phone at (530) 283-2735, x833, or fax at (530) 778-4309.

Writing Workshops and Art Therapy for children and young adults


     Pachuca Productions will be offering workshops and partnering with a therapist who also lost her home in the Dixie Fire to provide arts based therapy experiences for children through young adults. Pachuca hopes this will culminate in a sharing of stories on May 28 at the Greenville Elementary School cafeteria with an art display by both kids and the Dixie Fire Stories project. For more information about upcoming workshops or the event, contact [email protected].

     Stay safe out there and may your families and properties also be safe from harm.

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