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Hi, we're thinking of moving to East Petaluma, but are concerned about crime. Posts (on BPN and other sites) talk about gangs and crime, but when we visit it looks fine. What are we missing?
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You could call the local police department to get a better sense of what's going on. Also look at websites that discuss crime data, like AreaVibes.
Hi! If you are moving to Petaluma from a small town, yeah, you might think crime there is out of control! But my in-laws moved to E. Petaluma 3 years ago and we visit them and stay up there all the time and I can tell you, it is like a tiny backwater town compared to where we all moved from: Oakland. And we all lived in the "nice part" of the Oakland hills, and there were holdups at gunpoint down our street, carjackings at our school, teachers pistol-whipped near the campus, and constant smash and grabs. In fact, on the last night that I was moving out of our house, at 3 a.m. no less, a box containing random C.D.s, cleaning products and moving odds n ends that I had placed near my car door, in my driveway! was stolen. Kind of a goodbye and F.U. as well from Oakland. In Petaluma, my in-laws have a great neighborhood, neighbors that bring fruit and produce to share from their gardens, no burglaries, no car break-ins, no vandalism, and the house they bought cost 1/2 of what it would cost in Oakland and is twice as big. My young sons love it there in Petaluma; they go to the skateboard park and swimming pool and movie theatre and feel safe walking around. But again, I am comparing this to Oakland. And I am sure that Petaluma neighborhoods vary a lot by exact location, just like here. My advice to you would be to find a really great real estate agent in Petaluma, one who is from S.F. or Oakland or a major city and so has a different metric to compare crime to, and get their advice. Even if you aren't going to buy a home right now, they can help steer you to good areas to rent, as it is in their interest to build good connections with community members who are likely to become homeowners in the future.
I grew up on the east side of Petaluma, went to Mcdowell Elementary, Kenilworth Jr High, and Casa Grande High School. My parents and older sister and her family still live there on the east side. My sister lives right near La Tercera Elementary and my parents live on Vista Lane. I had a good childhood there although that was in the 80s and 90s, but I go back frequently to visit my family and it seems basically the same as it ever was to me. Maybe there are bad parts of the east side of Petaluma now, but I haven't heard of it from anyone I know who lives there.