I've bored everyone enough talking about getting robbed in FULLERTON, CA and am sick of talking about it.
So let's talk about how I found my first two leads for scooters only having been in the state 18 hours or so. There was nothing special about it really, just keeping my ears open and hearing what I was told.
I called to rent a car and a guy came to my motel to pick me up so we could go back to their office and do the paperwoork. As far as I knew he was nobody special, just a guy. We were chatting casually as we drove, and he asked what I did, just as he probably asks everybody. I said that I sell Rascal scooters to the VA hospitals. He started tellng me that his company is located near Disneyland and that a company down the street rents scooters to tourists, and that he sees them tip over going across the street frequently. I asked what they rent and he says Pride, and that he's been thinking about getting some Pride's also and renting them himself. At this point I find out that he's the owner of the rental company and that he might want as many as ten scooters to get started. So I spend the rest of the ride telling him about our brand new untippable 3 wheel front. That it's been tested and proven to be as stable as a 4 wheel, and that when it was rolled out to the VA's I took it to each of my VA's and as I showed it I told everybody that I had $20. that said they couldn't tip it over. I also told him that there are some big guys and gals there and some of them really tried but that NOBODY tipped over. One guy spun it in a circle as fast as it would go in the hallway, to the point that the tires slid on the waxed floor and he slammed a wall damaging the brand new drywall, but to his amazement he couldn't tip it, and he weighed upwards of 300 lbs or more. I gave him more examples and when we got tho the rental office, he gave me his card and private number and asked me to bring a demo in to show him as soon as possible. He also gave me the name and card of the company down the street that rents Pride. They're friends and he said they may also be interested as safety is a concern.
My point is that it wasn't difficult to get these leads, all I did was recognize a need and offer a solution. Which I'm sure all of us do every day. It just happened that we now have the best solution out there, and that's what I offered. Safety...
I wanted to see the Fullerton Council person responsible for the area where the office was where my truck was stolen. Unable to do that, I sent the following email. I seriously doubt that it'll do any good, but at least whoever does read it will find out something about their Fullerton....
LeRoy Murray to Council
Here is what happened to me, and what I'm posting about your town of Fullerton in my blogs and all over the internet. I may have lost and probably will never get back my truck and everything, nearly, that I own, but I will be letting EVERYBODY know that Fullerton is NOT the place to move to.
Moved from upstate New York to Calif. on 1/7, to take over a sales territory for Electric Mobility Corp. selling Rascal scooters and powerchairs to the VA hospitals, which I've been doing since 1998 in upstate NY. Decided to rent an office in Fullerton at 435 W. Commonwealth Ave., partly because it was so close to the police department.
I arrived in Calif. on 1/14 after driving my truck with a 12' box and pulling a 12' Uhaul trailer 3000 miles over 7 days. I finally got here and put what was in the trailer in storage and turning in the trailer. I parked the truck, unopened since loading it in NY, at the motel I'm staying at, at Crescent and Beach, in Buena Park. I drove a rental car and the truck sat in the motel for 8 days, in Buena Park, and nobody looked at it twice. As I said I rented an office at 435 W. Commonwealth on 1/21, and picked up the key on Sat 1/22. I drove the truck, which had been sitting undisturbed in Buena Park for over a week, to the office I'd just rented, pending unloading it and moving into the office the next day Sunday 1/23. Fortunately, as it turned out I had the good sense to take my GPS and other property out of the cab prior to leaving it. I parked it in the parking lot behind the office building on Richmond Ave about 6:30p. As I said pending moving into the office Sunday.
I got some help to unload what was going into the office, and we got there about 10:30a Sunday to find that MY TRUCK WAS GONE, STOLEN from the parking lot 2 blocks from the Fullerton Police Dept. in what, 15-16 HOURS? It sat undisturbed, unnoticed, over a week in Buena Park, and probably would still be, if I hadn't been so stupid as to take it to your Fullerton where it was stolen.
I called the police, and a very nice officer came, Officer Diaz, I believe. He took the information, checked to see if it had been towed. This was unlikely as it was fully loaded, and weighed a lot, but he checked. Then he filled out a stolen vehicle report.
The next day I went to the police dept to give them the license number, which I couldn't remember on Sunday, together with a list of some of the items in the truck off the top of my head, $10,000. or so of tools, 3 guitars worth $5-6,000., all my books, all my clothes, filing cabinets, records and files from my 13 years working for EMC selling to the VA's in NYS, and more. What I could think of came to nearly 35K and it wasn't everything. It was a disaster. Some of my office equip. was in the trailer and therefore in storage, but most was in the truck. Anyway as I was saying I went to the police dept to give them further info, thinking I'd see a detective, but no... I was turned over to a CADET!!! Clearly the theft of all my property together with my truck 2 blocks away from the Fullerton Police Dept was not taken seriously. The cadet grudgingly took my information, and blew me off telling me without saying it don't bother us we'll call you if we find it.
The next day, still amazed that the cadet hadn't wanted the serial numbers for the guitars, they can be traced unlike the tools, clothes, etc., I called and was connected with some girl, maybe an officer, maybe a clerk, she never said, again grudgingly she took the serial numbers. I had to ask if she knew who she was talking to before she actually looked up the case and named one of the guitars so I knew she had my case. She actually said basically don't bother us we'll call you if we find it.
A friend told me I should tell the police that the truck would be easy to recognize because the taillights and turn signals aren't working, and it has 8" round convex mirrors on both doors, one flap that hangs down behind the rear wheels is torn short, but truthfully I don't think they care, I'd just be bothering them.
Needless to say, I'm afraid of Fullerton, clearly you have a crime ridden town, if a locked commercial truck can be stolen so easily from a parking lot behind an office on your main street, 2 BLOCKS from your police department. I don't know where I'll get my office and apartment or house, I have been offered an office in the 524 Commonwealth building which I'd looked at the week before too, but frankly Fullerton scares me.
I feel that I'm doing everybody a big favor to let them know on the internet exactly what happened to me and what they may experience if they move there. If your criminals are so brazen they'll steal from next to the police, they'll steal anything anywhere.
I just thought it was fair to let you know what I'm saying and why.
Well, my first week in California was a doozy, first time I've ever been robbed and not only lost the truck, but everything in it. A large part of everything I own, make that owned, tools, clothes, guitars, books, on and on. It's a tramatic experience. Today I talked to the police, little hope or encouragement there. Then I spoke to my new landlord, she was very nice, I explained that I don't feel safe there, not even moved in yet and the truck and everything in it stolen. She ok'd cancelling the lease and refunding my money. So I start over. I still have some good leads for scooters, and asked Rascal to send the demo so I can get started.
It seems that it should be a goldmine out here. Great weather most of the year, lots of people, lots of people that need scooters or mobility equipment. I think the best way to look at my experience is as a test to see if I'm up to the challenge. All my friends say probably the cops will find the truck. I say yeah, empty and trashed. So I focus on moving forward, everything is gone, lost, whatever, and I'm moving forward, not back. I'll sell so many scooters, etc., that I'll need two trucks next time.
Went Sunday am to start moving into new office, and my truck was gone. The cops think towed for some reason, even though I had every right to park it there as a new tenant. I'm afraid it was stolen, containing virtually everything I own that wasn't in the trailer and now in storage. Have to track down the license number for the police.
What a trip!! I never want to do that trip again. Although you never know, after I've rested, and gotten back to, or close to, normal, you never know. I've got a friend that does it on the spur of the moment. Both my parents and my brother did it several times. Maybe it'd be different not driving a truck, hauling a trailer, in mid winter.
I thought it'd get warmer and the weather would be nice as I went south. But those who watch the weather channel, or those who live between New York State and say Dallas, know what a bear the weather was between Jan 7 and 14. I swear the winter was following me, showing me what to expect if I ever came back. It was cold, it was snowing, the roads were icy. Of course living in NYS for so long had equiped me for dealing with it, and truthfully by NYS standards it was almost laughable, an inch or two of snow, and some slick roads. BUT it wasn't funny to the people that lived there, they didn't have a clue how to drive in it, they weren't equipped to deal with it. I heard on the news that one county down there had one, yes one, snowplow, for the whole county. Not to mention I was driving a truck, hauling a trailer. So I took my time, drove slower than neccesary sometimes, and stopped overnight until I was almost out of Texas. Of course it wasn't all due to the weather, I lost my taillights the first day out, which made it neccesary to stop at night too.
I left NY on 1/7 and finally got to Ranger Texas on the 12th, I left Ranger about 7am on the 13th, and had a bright idea. The trailer was due back at Uhaul on the 14th, I had about 1300 miles to go, and it was Thursday. I stopped at a Walmart, and a Tractor Supply, and bought two 6 volt flashlights, some red paint and the stuff to attach them to the rear of the trailer, voila' taillights.... I should say, the weather had turned around and was fantastic too, sunny, blue sky and dry roads. I was driving 65-70mph most of the way. Thursday night, I also lost all turn signals and emergency flashers. So now I drove the rest of the way, no taillights, no turn signals, no emergency flashers, just two flashlights with lenses painted red for taillights. To make a long story short I drove 31 hours, arriving safely in Fullerton CA about 1:30pm Friday the 14th.
After doing a couple errands, I drove to the storage center I'd reserved long distance, and unloaded the trailer, it had so much crammed in that it nearly filled a 10x15 space. Then I got the trailer to Uhaul, and turned it in, on time...
Then I took the truck and drove around looking for a motel, I was exausted and in desperate need of a shower. It was dark, I had no taillights or turn signals, and although there'd been a motel or several at almost every exit from NY to Calif, suddenly I found none. Finally going south on Beach Blvd in Buena Park I spotted something called the Covered Wagon on a side street, so I went around the block. I passed a house with 3 or 4 police cars and was very aware of my lack of lights, but figured they were busy enough they wouldn't notice me. Finally I turned right and was driving down a street, seeing the Covered Wagon sign ahead, when who pulls up next to me? A Buena Park cop, I saw him look at the back of the truck in the mirror, then he pulled up and looked at me, I slowed down and turned in to what I thought was the Covered Wagon place, and the cop pulled off. I was actually in a Super 8 motel, but didn't realize it until the next day. I registered, took a shower, badly needed, and got much needed sleep.
The next day I rented a Camry from a car rental place across from Disneyland on Harbor Blvd. When the guy came to pick me up to go back and do the paperwork, he asked why I was here. I explained that I sold Rascal scooters to VA hospitals, and had come out to take over a territory. He mentioned that he had seen several scooters that a company down the street rented to tourists tip over in the crosswalk. I immediately started telling him about our new three wheeler and that so far it was impossible to tip. To make a long story short, he was the owner of the rental co. and told me he'd be interested in buying some scooters, to rent out. In addition he referred me to the owner of the other company, a medical supply company, currently buying and renting Prides.
I spent the rest of the week, looking for and buying a vehicle and an office. I looked at several vans and dozens of warehouse office combos, buying or renting none, either not right or too expensive. But finally on Friday, I bought an Escort to get me around until I need a van, the price and 25 mpg made it very attractive, and it was in excellent condition too. The same day I rented an office in Fullerton, no warehouse, just an office. But again it was priced right and will work until sales volume says I need a bigger space.
So here I am now, on my 8th day in Calif. getting ready to empty the truck, and set up the office. Then I start making sales and moving Rascals, also I found out on Friday that Disneyland has and rents scooters, and I'm sure safety is important to them too.
Left the house yesterday for the last time, heading down 81 to the Southern Route. The truck is loaded to the ceiling and back door, couldn't get anything else in on a bet, had to rent a 6x12 UHaul trailer to get the rest and same thing full. So full that to bring both bikes, I had to strap the Jamis touring bike onto the lift on the truck, between the truck and trailer. I'm sitting in the Days Inn where I stopped last night in Wilkes Barre PA last night hoping it's still there this am.
Tail lights went out for some reason last night so I'll be driving daylight only until I figure it out, so may take a couple days longer, the good news is it forces me to get some sleep at night, instead of driving to all hours. Bad news is it costs money and slows me down, and the truck is slow already pulling the load it's pulling. I kind of feel like the Joads hauling everything I own to start over in Calif.
Born about 15 miles from where I was living when I started blogging, at the Norwich NY Hospital. Grew up in Oxford and Tyner NY, we moved to South New Berlin. We had lived in town in Oxford until my father decided he wanted to be a farmer. So we moved to a farm in Tyner. The house burned which is when we moved to South New Berlin onto another farm. Then to Southern Calif. in Fullerton, went to Buena Park High School. My Aunt lived out there in Anaheim, had from her time in the service (WWII). My interest in the occult (it means unknown) stemmed from hearing her talk about Edgar Cayce.
Lived there for next 30 years or so. Got into sales f/t.
Moved to NY in 12/91 figuring to stay awhile and go back to Calif. Still here 18 years later, selling Rascal scooters in home in 98, then the new VA div selling to VA hospitals in 99. Still there covering 98% of upstate NY. Working on raising the money to get back to Calif. 2011, finally back to Calif couldn't take another NY winter. Living in Fullerton again, still in sales, a great job in Orange.