Auburn Smoker Attacked in Home

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An Auburn woman stepped out of her condo early Tuesday morning to smoke a cigarette and literally opened the door for a brazen robbery.

“Still shaken up,” said Bob Ryland.

More than 17 hours after the attack,  that’s how Ryland, the neighborhood watch captain, describes one of the condo residents he regularly tries to protect along Quartz Drive.

It just so happens the latest crime carried out here by a potentially homeless hooded figure,  occurred on Ryland’s off-night from watch around 1:18 a.m.

Watch members on duty ended their nightly walking patrols at 1 a.m.

“He brandished a weapon and forced her into her apartment He went through the house looking for money, looking for items, looking for things but he assaulted her physically while he was in there. He pushed her down,” said Dena Erwin with the Placer County Sheriff’s department as she detailed the incident.

“She’s very low income. She didn’t have any money,” said Ryland. The robber took other miscellaneous things from her condo instead.

In his years as watch captain, Ryland  says he’s seen it all on Quartz Drive. “We’ve had gunshots off and on, wild parties where fights have broken out…a lot of drugs,” said Ryland.

He’s noticed that his group’s unarmed patrols., and the general awareness of them being in the area, has cut down on some of the negative activity flowing from homeless camps at the end of the street.

Ryland wants to stop problems when they’re small, but he says without deputies civilians can only do so much.

“We’ve called them numerous times on drug problems that we’ve actually seen,” he recalled. “By the time that they respond to us… they’re gone.”

As far as the early morning attack on Quartz, the Placer County Sheriff’s department says the white man they’re looking for is in his late 20s or early 30s, with dark eyes and at least one other distinguishing characteristic.

“He had horribly acne-marked skin and terrible body odor…so maybe someone transient in the area,” said Erwin.

Until he’s caught, neighbors are looking after his victim.

“I old her if there’s ever anything that we can do… let us know right away,” said Ryland.

The hood kept the woman from seeing her robber’s hair color.

She was however able to spot that he was wearing blue jeans and black shoes as he ran away from her condo.

Despite what neighborhood watch captain Bob Ryland’s perspective, Erwin said her department spends a lot of time on crimes that happen on and around Quartz drive.

A full-time member of the force is also assigned to homeless issues.

You can earn a reward of up top $1,000 for a tip on this case that leads to an arrest. You can call Placer County Crimestoppers at 1-800-923-8191 or go online to www.placercrimestoppers,com.

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