Edgy neighbors have been telling us of suspicious cars and people in our various neighborhoods in recent days, doing a little Christmas shopping in our homes, front porches, and unlocked cars.
There have been too many of these incidents to list effectively, and a case in Lafayette Wednesday demonstrated to what lengths thieves are willing to go to get what they want.
Officers were dispatched to a residential burglary in the 1300 Block of Reliez Valley Road around 2 p.m. yesterday after a resident arrived home to find their front door heavily damaged by someone bent on gaining access.
The good news for the resident was that the front door held but the bad news was that the apparently frustrated crook then abandoned the direct method, went to the rear of the home and through a rock through a rear sliding glass door.
Television and computer were taken.
The accompanying image is of a prowling SUV police say was seen in the area Wednesday. It’s not the best of photos but as we have found these folks don’t always consent to being photographed.
Investigators determined that the resident had left the home at 9:30 a.m. and returned a few hours later. Earlier in the afternoon a neighbor called police to report seeing a vehicle stop and a passenger, described only as a black man in dark clothing, get out of the car and exhibit an unusual interest in homes in the area.
Officers responded quickly but were unable to locate either the man or the car in question.
No jewelry stolen? Maybe they keep their valuables in a built in, hard to find safe. Works for us.
We had a nice, old box safe once and used it to house our single malt Scotch supply but we have heard of thieves ripping floor and wall safes from their mounts and making off with them – cracking them later at their leisure. Happened to a neighbor of ours who lost a rather fine gold coin collection in this manner. He took it rather well, we would have needed therapy.
Sounds like they were Christmas shopping and not full-time burglars. Who steals a TV these days?
Does Lafayette have license plate cameras? If not, I suggest putting signs at the Orinda city limits: “Attention crooks: Orinda logs all license plates. Our lovely neighbors in Lafayette do not. Carry on.”
Howdy, Chris… Lafayette has and makes good use of cameras and license plate readers but it is apparent they are not everywhere (we believe local PDs who use them move them around). In this instance, we were struck by the burglar’s determined effort to push through the resident’s front door before realizing that effort was futile and resorting to the Neanderthal approach… And we do believe there are crews of thieves at work in our area and they may indeed be Christmas shopping as you say.
Lafayette does use license plate cameras but they need an approximate time and a make and model of the car in question for them to be worth anything. Without this info, police would have to spend hundreds of hours scanning through license plate images.
… or they could just forward the images to us for our (ultra smart and car savvy) readers to identify!