SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Camp Fire evacuees are being victimized again after a series of car break-ins at a hotel where they are staying here in the Sacramento area.
The Hutts have been hit twice in the last month. It comes as this family of five is struggling to keep it all together.
“It’s very crowded in these rooms,” said Nicole Hutts as she folded clothes.
It’s close quarters for the Hutts family. Nicole Hutts, her husband, a Butte County sheriff’s deputy, and three kids have been staying at a Homewood Suites since the Camp Fire started.
Her 7-year-old, Addison Hutts, said, “Me and my sister have to share a pullout couch bed. That’s very uncomfortable.”
Their home didn’t burn down, but Paradise is unlivable.
“Well right now the water is super contaminated,” said Hutts.
They didn’t want to relive the nightmare of evacuating by returning. Instead, they are living a different nightmare.
“The first time was with my car. They took my catalytic converter from my Sequoia, damaged so much stuff. $5000 worth of damage to my stuff!”
That was three weeks ago. It happened again this past Sunday, to her husband’s unmarked sheriff’s car.
“They bashed his back window in, slashed his tires. To me, that was more of a hate type of thing, because they didn’t get anything,” said Hutts.
And this isn’t the first time thieves have targeted hotels. She says dozens of other evacuees at this location and others in the area have had items stolen.
“People have had suitcases taken out of their cars. We try to take as much out of our car as we can, but the rooms are small,” she said.
Hutts says the staff is amazing, but more security measures are needed outside in the parking lot.
“I do feel unnerved–there is a black car that has been spotted around here,” she said.
The same car reportedly was seen driving away when her family’s car was broken into.
Through it all, Nicole has been home-schooling her girls and taking care of her 18-month-old, with spina bifida. Her husband is continuing his hour and a half drive to work in Butte County. Managing it all has been hard.
What’s been harder is seeing her whole town gone.
“I want to go back home, but it’s not home anymore. I don’t know when it’s going to be home again.”
The family is planning on moving in a few weeks to an Airbnb closer to her husband’s job. They are also in the process of buying a new home in Chico, but that won’t be ready until March.
CBS13 reached out to the general manager of the hotel. She did not return our request for comment.