FAIR OAKS -- A Fair Oaks gas station said it’s fed up with a lack of police patrols in the area after its location was broken into and ransacked seven times in the past year.
The most recent break-in at the Dewey Drive Chevron happened early Monday morning as two masked men took mostly cigarettes and lottery tickets after smashing in a window with a rock.
"Three in February, one in April, one in June and then this one," said cashier Laura Almanza.
Almanza said each time the thieves got in through a smashed out a window in the front door after the station closed for the night.
"They come for cigarettes and Lotto," Almanza told FOX40.
This time one of the thieves looked up in the direction of the surveillance camera, giving a better view of his face.
One thing the clerks told FOX40 is the rocks used to break the windows usually came from the property next door, where they see a lot of homeless people hanging out.
"It’s not on our premises, but if they were on our premises we’d call it in," Almanza said.
Almanza said she and her coworkers were releasing the video of one of the break-ins to FOX40 because they feel Sacramento County sheriff's deputies are not patrolling the area enough at night.
"They just come, look at the camera that one time and we don’t hear from them again," Almanza said.
"We actually did go out and we proactively for two weeks had an event in our system where our officers would go there periodically throughout their shifts throughout the 24-hour period," said Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. Shaun Hampton.
Hampton said deputies have responded to the property 15 times in the past year. Eight of those times the deputies were patrolling and were not called there by anyone.
"And making sure that folks that are there actually belong there and are conducting business," Hampton said.
However, the gas station has yet to reinforce its windows, something the sheriff’s department says would help.
"We have reached out to them several times to explain to them what needs to be done," Hampton said.
But Almanza said windows won’t make her feel safer at night.
"You’re walking to your car and all these homeless are out there drinking," she said. "It gets scary."
The sheriff’s department said it did release surveillance video to the media of a break-in that happened at the convenience store in June.
The department’s Homeless Outreach Team has been very active there, attempting to get people off the streets and into shelters.