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Dispatch / June 23, 2009
By Yasha Levine

couch in victorville

Living in an abandoned neighborhood in an exurb way out on the edge of the California desert has its perks. There isn’t much in the way of nightlife in Victorville, California, and food options are limited, but it has one hell of a crime scene, maybe the most happening in THE whole state.

Hunter S. Thompson barreled through here with a head full of acid and a rag drenched in ether pressed against his face on his search for the American Dream. And that’s exactly what Victorville, a desert commuter suburb 100 miles east of LA, has become. It is subprime central, a wasteland that boomed at the height of real estate bubble, overflowing with cheap McMansions built to scam low-income suckers into home ownership. But these days, the dream is dead. The row upon row of empty houses makes this depressingly obvious. You know the poor people who get displaced by gentrification? Well, suburbs like Victorville is where many have been forced to go. Places like this are going to be America’s 21st century ghettos, safely out of view, like Gulags.

Picture 1

But Victorville is special. It’s more diverse than LA or NYC, yet its population mixes in with a whole lotta indigenous hicks who strut around and fantasize about pumping a few AR-16 rounds into their new darkie neighbors. Poor people, pissed off white folk, high unemployment, a lotta meth labs and absolutely nothing to do…it’s a dangerous mixture that guarantees non-stop crime action.

It’s a hustle and bustle every sun-baked day: No Country For Old Men-style shootouts, tweakers forgetting to take their babies out of their car seats, leaving them to be cooked alive in the hundred-plus heat, harmless bums getting sentenced to life for picking pockets thanks to three-strikes-and-you’re-out laws, drug dealers swallowing baggies of meth to hide their goods from the cops and overdosing, people trying to rob stores with BB guns and getting laughed at by shoppers, middle-aged women on parole getting arrested for fucking underage teens, wasted grandmas crashing into storefronts and flipping over on sidewalks…


When I moved into my three-bedroom/two-and-a-half-bath prefab palace on a street lined with freshly-built empty homes, my next-door neighbors (two beefy, Mormon dykes) told me how happy they were to see me. My end of the block was basically abandoned—nothing but a row of vacant homes, dead lawns, spotty streetlight illumination, and a stretch of open desert beyond—and, according to them, weird and spooky shit starts happening in the neighborhood after sunset. Every few days or so, someone would tap on their windows after they’d go to sleep. First, the tapping would come from a small side window, then it would move to the glass door in the back of the house and make its way to the bedroom and the living room. A week before I moved in, they said, someone started pounding on the door at 3 AM. “It was so loud and scary, like it was the police or something,” one of them told me, giving me second thoughts about deciding to move out here. “No, we didn’t check who it was. We were too scared. We just stayed in bed and waited for it to go away.” This happened all the time.

That’s some horror movie shit. You’d think it would inspire you to get some deadbolts, surround your house with motion-activated floodlights, and arm yourself with a couple of K-Mart shotguns, right? I actually keep a loaded 357 magnum under my pillow when I go to sleep. My two Jesus freak neighbors might be scared, yet they are too fat and lazy to close their garage door at night. They’ll continue to bitch about it, but they just can’t be bothered to make an effort. Oh well, it’s just a matter of time before some tweak decides to make a go for it and have a little tie-up fun with them…After all, with Victorville’s severe chick shortage, this, sadly, might be the only way a guy out here can get laid.

And when the shit goes down, even cops might not be able to do much. Out here, they got their own problems. Last week, I was listening to my police scanner while having my Wheaties breakfast when I overheard that a cop—maybe retired—was holed up in his house threatening to go through with a murder-suicide, most likely with his wife. The situation was extremely dangerous, warned the dispatcher. The man was highly agitated and had at least four weapons on him. (I’m not sure how the whole thing played out, but it looks like this little embarrassment was buried real quick. The local newspaper is very diligent when it comes to local crime, but this episode never surfaced. )

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  • 1. The Dark Avenger  |  June 23rd, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    The other Not Ready for Crime Time Players:

    The bodies of two men believed to have been electrocuted while attempting to steal copper wiring were found Tuesday on an abandoned driving range in Riverside County, authorities said.

    San Jacinto police and Riverside County firefighters responded to the 900 block of Idyllwild Drive about 1:20 a.m. after someone reported seeing fireworks at what used to be San Jacinto Golf Center, said Herlinda Valenzuela, a spokeswoman for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

    “They thought it was fireworks, but once we got there, it was actually a fire,” Valenzuela said.

    It appeared that the two men had been stealing wires from a transformer and, in the process, accidentally electrocuted themselves, she said.

    —Corina Knoll

  • 2. adolphhitler  |  June 23rd, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    “chick shortage?”….you’ve got to be shitting me! can’t run and jump over all the whores in the greater victorville metropolitan area. you’re probably just too picky. any man with a paying job (this might exclude you)who walks into a bar (or the courthouse for that matter)has to fight those white trash whores off with a club. what are you doing wrong?

  • 3. Tony  |  June 23rd, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Police scanners were the greatest entertainment value pre-internet. They still are great. You can learn so much shit that’s never reported in the news.

  • 4. Chema Pino Suarez  |  June 23rd, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    I certainly don’t blame a Russian for being picky about whores.

  • 5. yabadabadoo  |  June 24th, 2009 at 4:58 am

    Pino, his a jew who got spoiled in Russia.

    Great article though.

    Not everyone in his position would take be able to view his realities like it was some kind of a weird movie which he has no part of.

    Denial is always hilarious.

  • 6. az  |  June 24th, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Good article, especially in accompaniment to “Harlem Renaissance” by Immortal Technique and doing data entry in a semi-cubicle. I have a question though, what will happen to this very American South Butovo once we run out of money to give to the banks to cover their losses on the mortgages?

  • 7. bumbigoff  |  June 25th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Chick shortage in Russia:

    people urgently need an expedition to score in Californian bars.

    most of them won’t get an erection in a place with less then a five dozen cops per 100 sq ft. Cops should or should not be dressed in civil clothes. American Football broadcasting TV, local steroid jocks and metrosexuals ‘on the site of speed pick-up’ are an absolute must.

    Will accept any reasonable paying job right there in the bar from the crowd using my networking skills.

    Also i personally plan to score with a quiet beuatiful white trash blonde chick serving on U.S.Navy aircarrier who would risk her carier and life letting me in at night from a fisherman’s boat. Without this my life
    i think will be incomplete.

  • 8. Johnny Utah  |  June 25th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    The earth doesn’t orbit the sun, you moron. It’s the other way around.

  • 9. adolphhitler  |  June 26th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    yasha…if you are in to crime i suggest you look into the gang situation up there…the traditional black gangs must have a foothold by now but im not sure about the mexicans..they seem more like wannabees…plenty of vagos and mongols though. they hang out at the screaming chicken in devore…the bartender there will gladly show you her tits for free, ask for melissa

  • 10. matt  |  June 27th, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Yeah, this would be in Vice. Hipster rag piece of shit.

  • 11. Anon  |  June 28th, 2009 at 6:17 am

    >>The earth doesn’t orbit the sun, you moron. It’s the other way around.

    Uhm, what? Please tell me you’re joking. I don’t detect any sarcasm tags to render.

    If you’re not joking please remove yourself from the genepool immediately. Our great grandchildren thank you in advance.

  • 12. aleke  |  June 29th, 2009 at 11:13 am


    Fuck off back to 4chan, kiid

  • 13. ukuli  |  June 30th, 2009 at 12:17 am

    Anarchists are like the skinheads of the left. We are just as embarrassed as the right wing is of nazi skinheads.

    Write an article about the skinheads of the left, the Anarchists! I dare you Yasha Levine! Go and meet the Black Bloc and other motherfuckers! As in “Kick out the Jams, Motherfuckers!”

  • 14. ehswan  |  June 30th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Victorville may just be the tip of the rainbow, leading edge, nose cone of human evolution. Victorville is where the rest of the country will go. But Victorville will get there first! Crows nest. New lands awaiting. Ain’t Victorvill glorious?

  • 15. adolphhitler  |  June 30th, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    hey #11 anon…he’s not a moron…he’s just from victorville!

  • 16. JM  |  July 10th, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Yasha, would like to see your thoughts on the the high-speed rail that was supposed to go from Vegas to LA stopping at Victorville instead.

  • 17. delete the borders  |  July 20th, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    LOL @13, A Black Bloc is a fluid tactic, not a specific group that exists out side of an action. And it originated with German Autonomists Marxists, so it’s not even an exclusively Anarchists tactic. Nor do most anarchists find a productive idea at the moment. And if the left is so embarrassed by direct action, and street level democracy then the left is screwed, because Barack Obama and the Democrats sure are not going to bring about any needed change.

  • 18. delete the borders  |  July 20th, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    LOL @13, A Black Bloc is a temporary fluid tactic, not any kind specific group that exists out side of an action. Black Bloc’s originated with German Autonomist Marxists, so it’s not even an exclusively Anarchist tactic. Nor do most anarchists find it a productive strategy at this point in time. (True there will probably always be some of the kids with the fire in their belly looking for catharsis. But you will never see another Seattle here anytime soon.)

    And if the left is so embarrassed by direct action, and street level democracy then the left is screwed, because Barack Obama and the Democrats sure are not going to bring about any needed change that is needed down here.

  • 19. Doc_Jude  |  August 11th, 2009 at 2:51 am

    ADOLPHHITLER:”…greater victorville metropolitan area….”

    RAOFLMAO!!!! ^_^

  • 20. Kevin  |  June 21st, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    OMG, ant to think I grew up here. Soooo glad I left back in ’74

  • 21. Jamie  |  December 1st, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Omg! I love who ever wrote this! It says it from portland or. I had some strange strange experiences in Helendale ca. Just one example is I told this drug addict MJ Somers stay away from my family and that was it……or so I thought ……..he started harrassing me at my job and even threatened to rape my 2 year old child!. I thought man I’m about to go to prison for hurting thus guy or I can walk away. So I left and came back to the city. But in helendale all I ever heard was whining from the community about how I hate this place and there is no jobs…….than fucking leave….bunch if lazy whiners.

  • 22. suzanne  |  February 23rd, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    The article displayed here along with its comments provided me with hours of side splitting laughter. ….only in the high desert California….it’s valid in almost all aspects just. ..the way it is

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