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New Take Back Watsonville group growing fast

Posted: Monday, Oct 8th, 2012

Paul Gutierrez, who is heading up the newly-formed neighborhood group Take Back Watsonville, shows one of two windows that were smashed by rocks recently at his Palm Avenue home Monday. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian).

WATSONVILLE—The night Paul Gutierrez had his truck stolen from outside his home was a catalytic moment for the Watsonville resident and military veteran.

“We were inside, sitting on the couch watching TV,” said Gutierrez, 31, as he described the evening that changed everything for him and his family. “We heard it peel out of the driveway.”

Up until that night, Gutierrez said he had heard from people throughout his Palm Avenue neighborhood complain of break-ins and property being vandalized but had not taken it personally.

“At first it didn’t affect me,” said Gutierrez. “It didn’t touch me until I got robbed — the game changed.”

That game-changing moment led the father-of-three to consider starting his own neighborhood watch group, but there was one problem: He didn’t think just starting a group in his neighborhood was enough.

So Gutierrez made an appeal to the community at large through online message boards and Facebook and determined there was enough interest to form Take Back Watsonville, a public safety advocacy group modeled after Take Back Santa Cruz, which formed in 2009.

For the complete article see the 10-09-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-09-2012 paper.

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