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Citrus Heights News Briefs: Fire evacuees, laser show, ID theft

Rachael Braden
Rachael Braden, of Citrus Heights, was arrested and charged with identity theft after several surveillance photos were released on social media. // Image credit: PCSO

Sentinel staff report–
Latest local news briefs include Camp Fire evacuees finding their way to Citrus Heights, a laser show at Lowe’s being featured on the evening news, and more ID theft victims being identified in connection with a local suspect.

Camp Fire evacuees find refuge in Citrus Heights home
A family whose home was destroyed in the Camp Fire got to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal in Citrus Heights after making their way to a relative’s home. The family, 51-year-old Luis Patres and his wife and two children, were the feature of a Golden Gate Express story published on Tuesday, detailing their harrowing tale of escaping what became the most deadly fire in California’s history.

As of the Express story’s publication, the Patres family had still not been allowed to return to the area where their home stood in Magalia, a community that borders Paradise. “Life goes on,” Patres is quoted saying in the article. “I’m just glad to be alive and with my family. We can rebuild, I just don’t know when or where.” (See full story)

Search of Citrus Heights woman’s home reveals more ID theft victims
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office said in an update last week that a search of a Citrus Heights woman’s home revealed 13 additional victims of identity theft, in addition to two initial victims authorities had identified. The suspect, 35-year-old Rachael Braden, was arrested in October after the sheriff’s department posted surveillance photos and asked for the public’s help in identifying her.

A search warrant was later obtained and was recently served at Braden’s home in Citrus Heights, resulting in the discovery of the additional victims, the Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. Braden was allegedly using the victims’ information to obtain credit cards and had reportedly stolen nearly $20,000 from one victim by opening up accounts in their name. (See Facebook post)

Holiday events in Citrus Heights featured on CBS 13
The Holiday Laser Light Show in the Lowe’s parking lot in Citrus Heights Friday night drew the attention of residents and families, as well as a CBS 13 news crew. The TV news station showed off visuals from the laser light show and also featured an interview with Kathilynn Carpenter, whose Sunrise MarketPlace district puts on the annual “Magical Moments” event series that includes the laser show and several other upcoming events which draw shoppers to the area.

The report highlighted that sales tax revenue is the city’s largest source of revenue, bringing in about $12 million — about a third of the city’s $36 million general fund. City spokeswoman Katherine Cooley was quoted in the two-minute news segment encouraging residents to shop local, where sales tax revenues will go to the city and allow funding for “things like streets, public safety, and other essential services.”  (Watch CBS segment)

More briefly:

  • Fire grads. More than a dozen new Metro Fire recruits graduated from an 18-week academy with a ceremony held at the Citrus Heights Community Center Friday night. (See ABC 10 story)
  • Volunteers. Citrus Heights residents David Hall and Thomas Spencer were recognized by The Oars in a 70-second video for their volunteer work cleaning up an area greenbelt. (See video)