Connecting the dots in local crime reporting

I read in The Union on Thursday where two residents of a local halfway house remain in county jail after one of them allegedly stole an ATM card to buy drugs.

Another day in Grass Valley. But if you dig deeper, you notice one of them was named Ian Seefelt, 26 — who’s been a “revolving door” offender. He was arrested on suspicion of grand theft, violating probation and using the personal information of another for unlawful purposes.

Does that name ring a bell? It does with law enforcement (who were shaking their heads at the Rood Center on Thursday) as well as a lot of residents.

Why? Seefelt was arrested in 2006 for allegedly stealing an elderly women’s purse in the Pine Creek Shopping Center, a case that drew considerable attention because it was so evil. The Union wrote about the incident.

“Seefelt has had brushes with the Grass Valley police. Five prior incidents were either theft- or drug-related,” the article said.

I have the same question that many people in law enforcement do: Why do we keep “catching and releasing” people such as Seefelt? Why aren’t we rehabilitating him? Where is the prosecution and judicial system breaking down?

These are still relevant questions. Tough questions can make the elected/appointed officials uncomfortable, but we have to keep asking and hold them accountable.

P.S.: I’m glad law enforcement and the DA’s office nabbed Thomas Hastert  in Santa Cruz. I still wonder why it didn’t happen last Friday, when the charges were filed.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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