7/08/2007

The Post That Might Get Me In Trouble

Posted by Brandon |

Ventura County has it's fair share of gangs. Oxnard has been for years one of the most crime ridden cities in all of California with Mexican gangs making their way up from Los Angeles terrorizing the entire community to the point where people from Ventura, to this day, are scared to venture into what is now a fairly normal city with problems areas.

With Oxnard becoming more and more gentrified and safer (the Oxnard PD actually gives a shit now that there are white people in town), the new VC gang hotspot is Santa Paula, and it is getting to be a seriously dangerous place.

But for the most part, the City of Ventura, where I live, is a pretty safe place free from a lot of the problems that exist in Oxnard or Santa Paula or Piru. But last week it came to my attention that we have our own little "gang" problem - they are called the Hells Angels and they have a lot of pull and wield a very large stick in this town.

Last Friday there were a couple of suspected arsons set at two Main Street tattoo shops both of which are not connected to the Hells Angels, who just happen to have a tattoo shop of their own on Main Street. The speculation on the Ventura County Star's commenting board is that this is just another case of the Hells Angels trying to bully their competition out of town. There is no proof that either of these fires were set by their members and by the amateurish nature of both fires it sounds more like a wannabe than anything.

But given the speculation and the history of the Ventura Hells Angels, if I were an owner of one of those tattoo parlors, or any tattoo parlor in town, I would sit up and take notice of these events. From what I understand, there's a cost to doing business in this town (or at least there used to be) and if you are unwilling to pay that cost or run afoul of the rules, then, well...good luck.

And while I think that their claims of harassment by the anti-gang law enforcement are somewhat warranted, they're still a gang with a lot of power and the muscle to keep that power. It's hard not to consider them organized crime even though they tart themselves up as innocent hobbyists.

The funny thing is that they (along with the high price of housing) are one of the things that is keeping this town from becoming Oxnard or Santa Paula. That's the kind of respect and power that they have. But at what cost? And how long will it be until one of the Mexican gangs or someone else decides to challenge their authority?

It's crazy to think of all the under the radar shit that is going down around your sleepy little beach community.

2 comments:

Hilly said...

Okay maybe I will stop complaining about living in Orange County now ;)

Brandon said...

Hilly - I'm not sure what's worse though, the Hells Angels and the Mexican gangs or all of those TBN Republicans. Kind of a toss up if you ask me.

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