Riverside residents taking protective measures after rash of burglaries, home invasions
Riverside has seen four home invasion robberies and 10 burglaries in just the last few weeks.
"What they're looking for is money," said Officer Ryan Railsback, who is with the Riverside Police Department.
He said detectives have started to see patterns and that the home invaders seem to be two different groups of masked men. They case around the neighborhood in several cars and target homes without dogs.
"They're actually coming in through the side, like a side gate or hopping a while, and then generally smashing, breaking a glass window, door," Railsback said.
"Just after the Uvalde shooting, I had 16 teachers call me in an hour," Firearms instructor John Galletta said.
Galletta, who owns Riverside CCW Training, said recent events, both locally and nationally, have cause his concealed-carry classes to fill up instantly.
"People who would normally not have a gun really started considering having a gun for protection," he said.
The classroom portion of Galletta's facility was recently expanded, adding 20 more chairs, because of the high demand, but Railsback said that having a gun is not enough.
"It's not just, 'I'm going to get a gun and now I feel protected.' No. You want to feel comfortable with that firearm," the officer said.
Galletta said that, yes, knowing how to physically shoot a gun is important, but mentally preparing yourself to do so may be even more critical.
"You can't act in fear. You must have the education behind you...," he said.