Home NEWS Local Scene Closing In On Christmas: Bait Boxes, Rampaging Rapscallions, And Armed Passengers

Closing In On Christmas: Bait Boxes, Rampaging Rapscallions, And Armed Passengers


Have we told you we love the Holidays here at NEWS24/680? Sure we have, and we do.

There’s a lot to like. People reach down and find their happy selves this time of year, baking cookies for romantic interests (those lucky doctors at John Muir really score the baked goods), Lunardi’s cranked up the Christmas Carols and shoppers were merrily singing along, and folks were giving the old Thumbs Up to fellow drivers giving them a break on our jammed-up roadways Thursday.

We did our shopping early this year, preferring to get out ahead of things, and there is a remarkable supply of spirits and aforementioned baked goods on hand in our newsroom. And, no, we’re not into getting baked ourselves – Christmas or not – it’s all purely convivial around here. We just like being prepared.

There’s so much that is good and fine this time of year that we stick to our unspoken maxim of posting happy shots of happy people being happy. With all the good orthodonture around these parts those photos aren’t hard to find as church groups and choirs and groups of old friends gather to celebrate the Season and “remember when…” is the de facto dinnertime conversation starter.

On the other hand, we just aren’t wired to ignore the bad stuff we see and it’s out there, with the unencumbered veterans and newly hired rookies picking up the Holiday hours on the beat while their lucky colleagues relax at home. It’s a recognized paradigm in the NewsBiz that with all the happy holiday stories out there this time of year there are also a fair number of brow-crinklers – tales which don’t always show us in the best light.

In Orinda, this translated into a couple of incidents involving weaponry you just don’t expect to find in your stocking – or waistband of your average BART patron – and a little further south it translated into the vandalism of a Christmas tree and other hooliganism at a downtown Danville restaurant Thursday night.

A Lamorindan was so affronted by this particular display (conducted by a whirlwind band of youths feeling Christmas spirits of a negative kind), that he gave chase when the Bad Elves ran off after laying waste to the restaurant’s tree and decorations. Perhaps there’s a special criminal enhancement for vandalism to Christmas trees during the Holidays, we don’t know. If our Lamorindan caught any of the miscreants he isn’t saying.

Also in Danville and in an innovative but somewhat sad sign of the season comes news that local police are launching a “bait box” program to – hopefully – catch some of the folks who have turned doorstep package raiding into such a lucrative side business. We actually suggested this sort of thing when the mail raiders first turned up a year or so ago and we hope it works out. So, be warned Package Pickers, that next Amazon box you snatch off some kid’s front porch could have a transmitter inside and a police officer recording your every move. Think it over. You don’t want Santa seeing that video, chum.

So here we are, on the brink of Christmas 2016, and most of us in the spirit and ready for the Holidays and coming New Year. What will it bring? We’ll just have to see.