According to Anthony and Tonia Silva, owners of Rio Java, a known local homeless vagrant robbed Rio Java this past Sunday morning (10/23/22).
She came in, being loud and twitchy, and demanded free drinks. She then reached over the counter and ran off with the tip jar.
Owner Anthony Silva arrived after he got a phone call from the barista on duty, and went out looking for the vagrant. He found where she had thrown the now-empty tip jar in the bushes, and later caught up with her. Silva said the Sacramento County Sheriff responded and issued a trespass citation.
Trespassing citations have now been given to four different vagrants because of issues occurring at Rio Java.
The estimated amount in the tip jar was less than $50, and the Sheriff was able to recover some of the cash. Because the value of the cash taken was less than $50, it is a misdemeanor, and the homeless will not be jailed for it.
The very next morning, Anthony happened to be driving past and saw the vagrant known as Connie, walking toward Rio Java once again. He intercepted her and called law enforcement once again. This time, instead of taking her to jail, they took her to a hospital.
The Silvas have reached a breaking point with the ongoing homeless issues at Rio Linda Plaza.
In speaking to other business owners at the plaza, some replied that it’s not their problem and that they don’t want to be involved.
Tonia Silva, co-owner of Rio Java, said that since the Silva family purchased Rio Java in April, they have been trying to work with property management to get additional security or even effective security, and they were told by ownership, in writing, to “stop with all of the safety of your employees nonsense” and that they are not going to do anything to help the situation. They have gotten no assistance and no backing from any other business at the plaza and not from management or ownership.
“Earlier in the day I was dealing with one of these people and there was a security guard standing right here in the sidewalk watching the whole thing, and he just walked away!”Anthiony Silva, Rio Java owner.
Due to these issues, Rio Java is moving out of the Rio Linda Plaza and back to downtown Rio Linda, to MarVal Plaza, next to the Rio Linda gym.
“It’s frustrating. The people who own this complex don’t live in this community, they don’t care about this community, the guy gets his rent check and property management deals with everything… You don’t even talk to the owner of the complex here, so it’s frustrating. where we’re moving to, the owner of that complex has a business on-site, his employees are on site, they have zero tolerance. If a vagrant comes and they do anything, these guys are on it and they are out, because these guys have a stake in this community, and that does make a big difference.”Tonia Silva, Rio Java Owner
One solution offered was for the RLE Neighborhood Association to start using a good, old-fashioned phone tree using text messages and 311.
“I feel like if we as a community were to band together and say “Enough,” every time you see something, report it. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. From the Sue Frost meeting we learn that the more reports that they have for a specific location, that will draw their attention and they will actually respond. If they have one report about an incident, you’re going to get nothing. 2-3-4 probably still nothing. But if you get 10, 15, 20, 30 reports, in the same location, for the same thing, they -have- to respond.”Tonia Silva
For more information about the Rio Linda Elverta Neighborhood Association, please visit https://www.facebook.com/RLENeighborhood