Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rambro Update

A cross-posting from other blogs and emails:

Dear Neighbors & Trail Users,

At the risk of invoking "déjà vu," be aware that Joe Clay (aka "Rambro") the hunter / poacher is back... again.

In addition to Clay being up here in the Chaney Trail Neighborhood this morning in his usual camo fatigues and armed with a bow on his motorbike, residents over on El Prieto report that "Rambro" was seen at ~2:30pm yesterday (21 Sept.), dressed in full camo and military style boots, with a "Castro cap" (military style cap), backpack, bow, arrows and knife. He was entering the Forest at the top of El Prieto via the trail to Owen Brown's Grave and the Lincoln Avenue Water Co. tank, adjacent to Angeles Forest.

As most of you know, El Prieto Canyon and vicinity burned in the Station Fire, as did the north slope and ridges above Millard Canyon, which means that Clay was hunting in the USFS Closure Area... or, too close to residences on the edge of the Forest.

Clay has also been exploring up N. Fair Oaks in recent weeks, trying to access the Forest via private property up there near Summer Kids and Zorthian Ranch.

Rambro seems to be conducting "reconnaissance" in this area on his bike, in an attempt to get around local residences and into the Forest.

Steve L. recently asked if it is illegal for Clay to ride his motorbike on local trails. Perhaps the USFS and County Sheriffs can answer that question for us.

At least one El Prieto resident called the Sheriffs yesterday. The Sheriffs responded to the call with two patrol cars, but those vehicles only cruised slowly around the culdesac at the top of El Prieto, then left, without deputies ever getting out or talking to the resident who called. The Sheriffs are not going to catch Clay in the Closure Area, see him setting illegal traps, or firing weapons too close to homes that way.

Altadena Sheriffs tend to arrive after Clay has driven off, or they decline to look for Clay, however briefly, in order to question him. Obviously, Clay is not going to stand around waiting for deputies. Worse, Sheriffs Dispatch up in La Crescenta may not respond at all because they don't know anything about "Rambro." It would be helpful if the Sheriffs worked closer with USFS law enforcement to intercept Clay. Once detained, the USFS and/or CA Dept. of Fish & Game could be called to issue a citation or to arrest Clay, depending upon circumstances.

For those not familiar with Rambro's history that involves poaching, using arson to evade arrest, and a concealed handgun... read the archived article copied last below. Caution is appropriate, take photos of Joe Clay and his vehicles only if you can do so without confrontation.

All we can do is remain vigilant and keep calling the Sheriffs, USFS Dispatch and the CA Dept. of Fish & Game "Cal Tip" hotline every time we spot "Rambro" in our neighborhood or the Forest. (See phone numbers highlighted in red below.) I have been told that he may be driving a newer SUV instead of the old maroon van with black-out windows (CA license #4AGU605).

If you call and get the La Crescenta Sheriffs Station... and they don't know who "Rambro" is... politely ask to be connected with someone at the Altadena Station. Generally, the Altadena Sheriffs know who Clay and about his illegal and dangerous hunting.

As Robert C. said, letting Clay know he is being watched may encourage him to leave our area. If we are lucky, authorities will catch him "in the act" again and we won't see "Rambro" back... ever. Clay gives responsible hunters a bad name.

Thanks to all those who reported Clay's presence to authorities.

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