"Bait vehicle" warning signs in Citrus Heights // photo credit: Luke Otterstad

‘Bait Vehicle’ Signs Raise Questions from Residents

Ever wonder what’s going on with the large “bait vehicle” signs around Citrus Heights?

If so, you’re not alone, as questions about the signs have been brought up by residents at several community meetings in the past few months.

To find out the story behind the signs, The Sentinel checked in with Officer Wesley Herman of the Citrus Heights Police Department who said the signs are part of the Department’s auto-theft prevention efforts.

Explaining that “bait vehicles” look just like any other vehicle on the street, Officer Herman said the only difference is that they’re equipped with a hidden GPS tracking device and strategically placed in areas where police have observed high theft or crime trends, with the hope that criminals “bite.”

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Citrus Heights shooting leaves one dead; police seek witnesses

A Friday night shooting in Citrus Heights has left one man dead after police say his vehicle was struck by gunfire and collided with a light pole near Sayonara Drive and Lialana Way, according to a police department press release sent out today.

“The Citrus Heights Police Department and our community will not tolerate such violent crime in our neighborhoods,” said Lieutenant Ryan Kinnan. “We believe someone has information concerning this crime and are asking those individuals to come forward.”

Around 11:22 p.m. last night, officers were dispatched in response to a report of shots fired and later reports of a vehicle collision, according to police. Upon arrival, they located the vehicle and “performed life saving measures” on the unidentified unconscious male driver, until paramedics arrived and transported him to a local hospital where police say he was pronounced deceased.

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Antelope Road Lanes Closed Twice from Two Major Injury Accidents

Several lanes on Antelope Road at Sunrise Boulevard were shut down for five hours Monday, after officers responded to a motor scooter injury accident around 3 a.m. – just 12 hours later, Antelope Road lanes were shut down again when a bicyclist collided with a vehicle just a few blocks away at the Auburn Road intersection.

The morning collision involved a scooter carrying two people, which reports say struck a median after sliding 250 feet along the ground. Police said the afternoon collision involved a bicyclist crossing Antelope Road against a red light, who struck a van that was lawfully in the intersection.

The morning collision resulted in several lanes being closed for five hours during commute time as police conducted an investigation, and lanes were closed again in the afternoon for about an hour.

Police said no helmets were worn by those involved in both the morning and afternoon crashes, and all three persons were hospitalized with injuries ranging from moderate to critical.

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IRS sign

CHPD Warns of IRS Phone Scam, Feds Give 5 Ways to Spot Hoax

The Citrus Heights Police Department tweeted a warning this week about an IRS phone scam hitting the Sacramento-area and nation, with IRS officials on Thursday releasing five ways to avoid falling victim to the scam.

“There are clear warning signs about these scams, which continue at high levels throughout the nation,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail.”

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said it has received over 90,000 phone calls about the scam, and has identified around 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 million.

The IRS warns that scammers can spoof caller ID’s to make it appear the IRS is calling, and can often recite the last four digits of a social security number — but it says the following five scam practices are ones the IRS never uses, making them tell-tale signs of a scam call:

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Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones takes Ice Bucket Challenge

Sac Sheriff Challenges Citrus Heights Police Chief for “Ice Bucket” Fundraiser

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones plunged into the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” Sunday, posting a video on Facebook with a challenge to several area police chiefs, including Chief Christopher Boyd of the Citrus Heights Police Department.

“Could you have poured that any slower?” the sheriff is seen in the video asking his deputies behind him, who took nearly five seconds to pour about 20 gallons of ice water on their boss.

A spokesperson for CHPD said that Chief Boyd already did an Ice Bucket Challenge several weeks ago, and was unsure if the Chief planned to respond to the Sheriff’s latest challenge.

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Sheriff Warns of Sacramento County Phone Scam

Warning of a “sophisticated phone scam” was sent out Thursday by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, alerting county residents of a scammer claiming to be with the Sheriff’s Warrant division, who threatens arrest for an alleged outstanding warrant – if payment is not made immediately.

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Citrus Heights Police Arrest 3 in Weekend DUI Checkpoint

Citrus Heights police officers netted three arrests during a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint at Antelope Road and Lauppe Lane from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m, Friday.

A total of 767 vehicles were screened during the six-hour checkpoint, resulting in the arrest of a DUI-alcohol suspect, a DUI-drug impaired suspect and another arrest for possession/transportation of illegal drugs, according to a press release by the Citrus Heights Police Department. 10 drivers were also cited for driving without a valid license, and three vehicles were impounded, along with issuance of 13 citations.

Citing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Department’s press release said “Checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent.”

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