By Tony Lopez

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Old Sacramento shop owners say thieves are having a field day, as police patrols have dwindled.

Police were quick on the draw when we asked them about the lack of patrols in the area, but while they were candid in their answers, that’s little consolation for merchants.

Shopowners say lately the area that dates back to the 1850s seems to be living up to its Wild West name.

The wanted culprits causing the recent dust-up? Thieves who move fast.

The latest theft happened on Sunday.

“They distracted me, and the next thing you know, the pistol is missing,” said Malcolm Howe, the owner of The Penny Farthing.

A Gold Rush-era six-shot pepperbox pistol, circa 1840, worth about $2,000 was taken.

The owner of The Penny Farthing says he’s not the only victim.

“McGee’s has been subject to theft, Lil Bush has been subject to theft, the Native American store has been subject to theft,” he said.

And that has Sacramento Police being the subject of criticism from merchants who complain about the lack of law enforcement around these parts.

Police agree there need to be more police, as there aren’t as many officers patrolling Old Sacramento. They say it’s a staffing issue, and their focus is on higher-crime areas.

But Old Sacramento merchants say that blurs their bottom line, and fear their profits could be riding off into the sunset.

Help could be riding in soon though, as police say money from recently passed Measure U will mean more officers will be hitting the streets.


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