Doug Krikorian / Viewpoint

Long-Time Belmont Shore Resident Dorcas Baldwin, 85, Endures Frightening Experience Of Homeless Man Breaking Into Her Bay Shore Avenue Home And Taking A Shower Before Long Beach Cops Come To The Rescue

Mr. Krikorian, an award winning journalist and author of two books, earned multiple awards in his 22 years of writing for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and 22 years for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He is happily retired.

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No one in's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(Feb. 8 2021, 7:35 p.m.) -- As the notoriously bumbling Long Beach mayor, Mr. Robert Garcia, and his equally blinkered City Council accomplices spend their invaluable time shrinking the LB police department and inspiring closurers of supermarkets with their anti-business shenanigans, they also continue to blithely ignore the ominous rise in crime and the rampant homeless mischief in the community.

I came across the aftermath of the latter on Bay Shore Avenue in Belmont Shore last Friday as I was taking my daily morning walk and noticed five police cars pulling away from a home between Division and 2nd.

As I came upon the scene, I saw a couple of ladies seated in its front yard, and asked them the reason for the presence of so many custodians of the law.

"A homeless guy broke into my mom's home here, and the police found him trying to take a shower in my mom's upstairs bathroom," said Nicole Benjamin.

Her mother, Dorcas Baldwin, was seated next to her, and, understandably, was in an agitated state.

Dorcas Baldwin and her daughter Nicole Benjamin

"Very, very frightening experience," said Ms. Baldwin, an 85-year-old retired Norwalk elementary teacher as she kept nervously shaking her head.."I was in my bed upstairs, and started to hear noise downstairs. My daughter lives nearby on Santa Ana, and I figured it might be her.

`I kept saying, `Hello. . .hello. . .hello. . .' But there was no answer, and when I heard someone walking up the stairs, I went out into the balcony, and dialed 911 on the phone, and looked over and could see a blurry image of a guy walking into my bathroom.

"I was put on hold, and I heard music for a couple of minutes. And then a lady came on, and I told her that someone had broken into in my house. She started asking me all sorts of questions like what did he look like and what was he wearing, stuff like that. Well, I'm legally blind, and I kept telling her I don't see well and I think he's a skinny older white guy, and that's all I know for sure is that he has broken into in my home."

Within moments, the police had arrived, and were escorting the handcuffed intruder downstairs wrapped in a towel.

"After she hung up with the 911 operator, she immediately called me and I rushed over from my nearby Santa Ana Avenue residence," said Nicole Benjamin. "I got there just in time to see the homeless guy and heard him saying to the police, 'You can't arrest me. I don't want to be arrested.' And I thought to myself, `What?' I mean, the guy just broke into someone's home.

"And then I heard one of the cops talking on a phone to a superior, I guess at police headquarters, and she was saying,'What, we can't arrest him? Are you kidding? The guy committed a felony breaking into a person's home and damaging a door.' At least they took him away in one of the police cars."

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I spoke to Nicole Benjamin and Dorcas Baldwin Monday, and asked them if they had heard anything from the police over the weekend.

"Nothing," said Ms. Benjamin. "That means they probably took the guy downtown, made sure he got a shower, and turned him loose. I did notice he wasn't afraid one bit of the cops. I guess he knows nothing would happen to him unless he raped or killed someone. This is crazy what they're allowing people to get away with these days. Even if you arrest him, he wouldn't have had to post any bail and would just skip any court date if one was even set.

"I don't blame the cops for such craziness. The politicians and judges are to blame. They're the ones who have set all this craziness in motion."

"I'm still very apprehensive. . .very apprehensive,' said Ms. Baldwin, a sharp, spunky lady who was lured to California in 1956 by its teaching shortage after growing up on a 180-acre soybean and corn farm in the tiny village of Hull (pop. 456) in Illinois. "This is the third time in the past year there has been a break-in at my place. This would never have happened in the old days when people had to pay for their crimes.

"I can't tell you how many times I've awakened in the morning and found people sleeping in my front patio. And a few times guys will knock on my sliding door, and ask if they can come in and watch TV with me. That scares the (expletive deleted) out of me."

Nicole Benjamin revealed still another incident occurred later last Friday at her mother's home where she has lived since 1988.

"She left a broom out front and, sure enough, somebody came in and stole it," she said. "A neighbor said it was another homeless person..." . . .

  • I also had an experience with one of these unfortunate souls a couple of months ago.

    After taking my chocolate Lab on her usual 5 o'clock walk around the neighborhood, I returned to deposit the refuse bag into our trash bin next to our garage and was greeted by a most horrifying sight in front of it.

    A fellow was wrapped in a large blanket snoozing away in turning the back of my property into his private Airbnb.

    The gentleman, who stood at least 6-4 and, incredibly, looked to be in decent shape, was encouraged to depart, and he did so without a word.

    That's the good news.

    The bad news is that the next evening at 10 o'clock when I opened one of my garage doors to take out the garbage, incredibly, even a little scarily, the same fellow was lying out there in the same place.

    I decided to call the cops, and, even though they quickly arrived, he had already disappeared.

    I spoke to the two fellows for a few minutes, and they were quite cordial and even empathetic.

    "We aren't allowed to do much other than to tell the person to get off your premises," one told me.

    "Yes, I know," I said. "I know how your hands are tied these days. I saw the looting disaster that unfolded last May 31st on Memorial Day night in downtown Long Beach."

    "Yeah, we never should have happened," said one of the cops, with disgust. . .

  • What 43-year-old Tom Brady accomplished this season winning his 7th Super Bowl title and making an absolute mockery out of the New England Patriots' decision to encourage his departure never will be equaled in sporting history.

    At least not by a 43-year-old NFL quarterback who has survived 20 years in one of the most violent sporting competitions on the planet.

  • I always remember the late Chuck Knox telling me often when he coached the Los Angeles Rams in the 1970s that the most important part of a football team is the offensive line.

    "You can't win without a good one," he always said, and ol' Chuck was right.

    The great Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, certainly found that to be the case in his team's 31-9 embarrassment against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in which he was reduced to being a mere reeling, ineffective mortal without proper protection, as would have been the case with the great Brady had the roles been reversed. . .

  • I find it absolutely disgusting that the City Council by its standard 9-0 vote tacked on that $4 an hour "hero pay" for certain workers at supermarkets in town who employ more than 300 people, which resulted in two major ones being shuttered, which resulted in a lot of people suddenly being deprived of a job.

    Is there one person on our City Council who has an independent mind and an insightful, keen knowledge of business practices? If ever a group is deserving of its nickname -- the Nine Unworthies -- it's this fabulous collection of nincompoops who also in the latest budget slashed 50 more officers from our police department at a time lawlessness in town soars. . .

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    Previously by Mr. Krikorian: hr>
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    Terry Antonelli Orchestrating Rise Of L’Opera After Its Tragic Fall In The Great Long Beach Memorial Day Pillage & Plunder Festival
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    The Memorable Life Of Tommy Lasorda: From World Series Titles To Slim-Fast Diets To Obscenity-Laced Jim Healy Tapes To Pitching To Jack Clark To A Sacred Legacy Of Laughter And Success On The Ball Yards Of America
    "A Lady Shrieking "Wear A Mask!" On Bay Shore Ave. Results In A Mask-Wearing Epiphany For Our Columnist
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    Krikorian Notes: From The Irritating Silence Of The Long Beach Politicians In Not Supporting Their Citizens To The Whereabouts Of LB Mayor Robert Garcia To The Whistles Favoring The Lakers Against The Nuggets To The Greatness of Patrick Mahomes To The End Of A European Vacation Streak That Started In 1989
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    Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.

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