Rocky Hill Drive from Exeter to Yokohl Valley is a favorite roadway for walkers, joggers, runners and cyclists. It is also often part of a Sunday afternoon drive. And, while it is prohibited, some venture to the top and park at night – to take in the views, among other things. That choice, could be a dangerous one.
At 10:30pm on April 12, “the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by four victims who subsequently advised they had been robbed while parking on Rocky Hill. During the confrontation, the two suspects brandished weapons and demanded property and money. The victims gave the suspects cash and the suspects fled the area,” according to a TC Sheriff’s report.
The sister of one of the victims posted the following on her Facebook page –
“A warning to all my Facebook friends who like to go up to rocky hill at night and hang out, look at the lights, etc. my sister and a group of her friends were up there last night and we’re robbed at gun point by two men. They slashed her tire and only managed to get away with about 40 dollars in cash and thankfully no one was hurt but it could have turned out a lot worse. The sheriffs informed us that this has become a reoccurring problem up there that people need to be aware of. Just some food for thought next time rocky hill at night is on your agenda. Stay safe everyone. Spread the word so this scary thing doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
As of press time, an attempt to contact the Facebook page owner has gone unanswered, and the post had received more than 1,320 shares. For security reasons, the Voice has elected not to reveal her name without permission.
Detective John Nicholson, who is handling the case, said he had heard there had been similar instances, but could not confirm them. He also stated that it is illegal to park on Rocky Hill, and it is “posted very well in several places.”
Public information officer Teresa Douglass confirmed one prior incident, similar in nature, last November.
“But, there’s certainly not a rash of incidences,” she said.
The November, 2016 report revealed, “On 11-19-16 at about 0200 hours, the victims were parked on the 21100 block of Rocky Hill Drive in the Exeter area. Two suspects approached the vehicle brandishing handguns. The suspects robbed the victims of cash and property.
“One victim was shot in the head with an air-soft gun. Two other victims were assaulted. The suspects fled in a
white unknown vehicle.
“The victims were able to locate a nearby residence and call for help. Two victims were transported to Kaweah Delta Hospital and treated and released for non-life threating wounds. The third victim refused treatment.”
While limited to two known recent incidents, they is cause for concern. The Sheriff Department advises that people heed the posted no parking signs, and not visit the area during nighttime hours.
As for last week’s incident – “Victims advised the suspects arrived in a black or dark colored 1997 to 2004 Acura passenger vehicle,” the report said.
Anyone with any information should contact Detective Nicholson at (559) 735-1898 or (800)808-0488. Anonymous information about this crime can be reported via Tipnow, email: [email protected] or download the Tipnow app for android or apple phones at (559) 725-4194.