Home NEWS Local Scene Around The 24/680: Ducking Drones, Sex Shoppe Gear, And Serial Arsonists

Around The 24/680: Ducking Drones, Sex Shoppe Gear, And Serial Arsonists


It has been an exhausting week. Costco case-crackers. Traffic-jamming crashes. Errant doctors and landscapers, grifters, and more.

We’ve been out and about, careful not to step on the cracks lest things get worse, and trying to keep up with goings-on around our towns and cities.

And we have to say things have been… odd… out there.

We took note this week that several cars around the 24/680 were suddenly, inexplicably bursting into flame while parked in their owner’s driveways – and for an instant we wondered if we weren’t seeing one of those bizarre news cycles when catalytic converters sparked off in odd groups of three our editors always used to tell us to watch out for.

But this is apparently more sinister, and the growing buzz is that someone is deliberately setting cars ablaze, seemingly at random. We’ve been Flashing news alerts of incidents to individual neighborhoods when they happen but you may want to take precautions – like finally clearing out the garage and bringing your precious jalopy inside!

Also this week we ran across our first “drone strike” – only not the lethal sort we see and hear about in the international news. This one came crashing through the window of a home in the San Ramon Valley a few days ago, scaring the bejeebers out of the homeowner. No malicious intent that we could see, but the device apparently just got away from its controller.

And then there was the Case of the Sizable Sex Toy, which startled those who first spied it propped up against the welcome sign at one of our local shopping centers. We won’t say which one but police were apparently summoned to take the – device – away. We’re not sure if they asked for the Bomb Squad Robot but we wouldn’t want to touch the dang thing. And, what kind of message was the person who left it there trying to send? Or, does he or she have so many of them laying about that they simply lost track of this one?

We don’t know, but we do know it was one for the books… or at least this column, anyway.


  1. I doubt criminal trespass charges are possible without gross negligence (or actual intent). Easier (but still perhaps not slam dunk) to recover damages from the drone operator. Many new consumer drones have “obstacle avoidance” features. If that is the case here (and the feature was active), I doubt the operator would even be liable to pay for window (although I think he should as a moral matter).

  2. You file a claim with your homeowners insurance. If there’s liability elsewhere – let the insurance company go after them. That’s what they get paid to do.

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