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The Victims: “What The Heck Is Going On Here In The Bay Area?”

This woman was part of a crew of thieves ripping off diners and using their credit cards in Lafayette and Walnut Creek.

We see our share of nastiness here at NEWS24-680, and we write about it in hope of warning others and getting the word out about those who would do us ill.

And while we have written volumes about the phone cons, the fast-talking grifters, the purse snatchers and pocket pickers, the renegade realtors and bogus contractors – the people who fall victim to them always write or call to say: “You should be getting the word out...”

This happened five times Wednesday, with locals who had had their purses or identities or catalytic converters taken and who were left to unravel the tangled strings of their relationships with their banks or insurance company writing to say: “Why didn’t you warn us?”

A Danville resident, who wrote to tell us his wife’s purse was stolen from an office space in her own store almost three months to the day after their residence was broken into and ransacked, ended his note with: “What the heck is going on here in the Bay Area. It’s gotten bad…”

We swallow, put on our professional voices, ignore the semi-accusatory “You need to get the word out about these people” and remind ourselves that they’ve been hit hard and are feeling the pain and sense of violation that comes with being robbed or taken.

We get it, believe us. And then we send them links to all the stories we’ve done on the IRS scam, the Granny Scam, the Backyard Burglars, Rigged Auctions and Identity Snatchers and wait for the usual: “Gee, I didn’t know this was happening so much.”

A really nice woman from San Ramon wrote to prod us about getting the word out about the thieves prowling our neighborhoods at night in search of catalytic convertors – and, yes, it turned out she was one of about three dozen people to lose the devices on one busy night for thieves.

“Can u make people aware of the recent rash of catalytic converters being stolen from Toyotas. Last weekend 15 in Danville, 13 in Walnut Creek and the same numbers in San Ramon. We were one of the victims and it’s costing $2100.00 + to repair. Thank goodness for insurance,” she wrote.

Can we make people aware? We can try, and we forwarded links to stories we have done and even videos about how the crooks are pulling off these crimes. We also forward stories we’ve done on the factors in play that may be contributing to these spikes and resultant tales of woe.

All we can do is keep writing about them. Which we will. You may want to share them with a friend or neighbor when we do.



  1. Crime is everywhere. It happens. Always be vigilant. I remain shocked by the number of unattended purses/wallets in shopping carts I see when I’m at our local grocery stores.

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