Far be it for you to suggest we're watching waaay too much Breaking Bad, but a string of recent residential burglaries in Garden Grove has us thinking about the last two episodes of AMC's methtacular drama.
Caught-up viewers can probably guess why only certain OC homes are being targeted. For the un-caught-up, consider this your spoiler alert before clicking the MORE tab.
Since July 1, nine Garden Grove homes that had been tented for fumigation have been burglarized, according to the police department.
As anyone who has had an exterminator out to do the maximum bug killing knows, homes are routinely covered with large tarps that have them resembling circus tents while chemical bombs are set off inside. Homeowners and their pets must leave for several days before the houses can be inhabited again.
So here comes Spoiler Alert II, as it concerns the plot of the current Breaking Bad season. Deprived of their blown-up lab to cook new batches of Walt's much-coveted “Blue Ice” crystal methamphetamine, he and his partners Jesse and Mike enlist an extermination company that allows them to work in tented Albuquerque, New Mexico, homes. The idea is no one can see in, and neighbors won't distinguish one chemical smell (fumigants) from another (meth).
It's helped our . . . uh . . . heroes(?) that Vamonos Pest Co. is composed of ex-cons who are already compromised, as shady Mike knows they have been casing the homes and either selling information about what's inside to burglars or making copies of keys and pulling jobs themselves months after residents have hired the exterminators.
In real-life Garden Grove, police do no suspect inside jobs, as the burglars have been cutting holes into the tents to get to unlocked doors and windows. The cost to keep replacing tents is even one Vamonos Pest Co. would be loathe to accept.
The Garden Grove Police Department suggests that those having their homes fumigated ask their neighbors to keep their eyes on their abodes, and for neighbors to call police if they see anyone entering a home a couple days after a tent has gone up, as this would be outside the normal time frame for people to be present. Most burglaries have happened overnight, on weekends, cops note.
The number to call Garden Grove Police is 714.741.5704 or, if a crime is suspected in progress, punch 9-1-1.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.