Burglaries were up almost 70 percent and thefts up 80 percent last year in Grants Pass, Or., a city of 35,000 north of the California border, says the New York Times. Criminals knew their actions are increasingly without consequences in cash-starved Josephine County, where the jail the city depends on is mostly closed for lack of money.
An hour south, a volunteer group called Citizens Against Crime is taking action. Patrolling the back roads of the county after the sheriff's office was gutted by budget cuts, crime rates in their area have fallen to near zero. Still, county commissioner Keith Heck fears that the county could break apart into balkanized camps of self-government, each on its own lookout, if a fix to the budget problem is not found soon.