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All Kinds Of Snakes In Our Grass Lately – Some Biting, Some Stealing Things!

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Archive photo of sizable rattler spotted in Lafayette a while back. Photo: Kim Curiel

This recent period of warm weather has apparently brought out all kinds of nefarious critters, some of which can’t help doing what they do, and then others who should know better but do what they do anyway.

A veterinarian in Walnut Creek has treated four rattlesnake bites in the last 48 hours – and if you read this site you know our neighbors are finding the sometimes cranky critters in their yards and on their patios. Watch your kids and domestic animals, especially if you live near open space where the crawlies are known to reside.

It’s warm, and they’re moving around, just like the teams of shoplifters and Laptop Snatchers moving through our neighborhoods.

Despite the arrest of two suspected coffeeshop laptop cruisers in Dublin and Pleasanton this week, another theft was reported at the Starbucks at 1340 N. Main in Walnut Creek last night (yes, we Flashed news of that one) and shoplifters – we’re not sure yet if they’re working alone or in crews – descended on local stores in Lafayette and the San Ramon Valley taking everything from beef jerky to baby formula.

Your local police were very busy wrangling all the would-be thieves. So keep an eye on your stuff and for those snakes in the grass.

53 COMMENTS

    • Aha! Yes. Believe the store and LPD were cuffing them almost as fast as they were coming in! Don’t know if it was a “crew” working in concert or a “flurry” of individuals who all came to town with the same idea.

  1. You can almost park outside , wait a few minutes and then watch Danville police make the arrest! Crazy. Workers say it’s strange when they DONT get robbed!

  2. Thanks for sharing this info. So there was a shoplifting incident at Lafayette Safeway and the suspects were arrested? More details please if they are available.

    I watched a guy shoplift from another grocery store in Lafayette on Friday evening. I work in SF and shoplifting is out of control here.

    It certainly seems like there has been an increase in these types of thefts/robberies in the past couple years. I wonder how much of it is attributable to Prop 47/AB 109 etc.

    The CA legislature recently failed to pass a law that would make it easier to prosecute auto burglars… State Senator Scott Wiener said “there’s a strong belief not just in the Legislature but by the governor, too, that we should be cautious about expanding criminal liability. It’s a challenge we have to overcome.” (“Car break-in crackdown bill made perfect sense. California lawmakers killed it” – SF Chronicle 6/15/18)

    • G’morning, RIF – we have to admit that we can’t keep up with the number of “petty” crimes we’re seeing lately and we’re concentrating on reporting those with a direct impact on public safety but at least two people, possibly three, were arrested at or near Lafayette Safeway last night. They were not, by any means, the only business to be targeted… as for the rest of your post we think it has been established that much of what we’re seeing is directly related to Prop47/AB109. We’re just crossing our fingers no one gets hurt as the number of cases appear to be flourishing.

    • Great question, Siobhan, and one we wish we could answer but we don’t have any data – aside from anecdotal accounts – to support an argument convincingly. We’re hoping the police, penal agencies might be doing something along those lines but we don’t know if it’s happening or not. Any LEOs out there are invited to give their two cents here, should they wish…

    • Have to check the time stamp on our Flash Alert, Tony. We’ll dig it out. The Flashmaster was busy last night.

  3. A lot of petty crime is related to Prop 47/AB 109. The good news is – residential burglary is down throughout CA – Prop. 47 doesn’t apply. We’re all at risk for residential burglary. Vehicle burglary – only if you’re foolish enough to leave anything in your vehicle.

    • Good point by Danielle. Couple of house burglaries and an almost house burglary in recent days and those are not fun at all. As for the car burgs, we still can’t figure out why someone would leave their purse or company laptop in their car while having a drink, dinner, or seeing a movie. All that stuff is getting picked off like low-hanging fruit. We had hoped people would learn from our stories and the experiences of others but… well… apparently not!

    • Yes. They are very much a part of the CritterScape but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

  4. The kids are much better with snakes than I am. But I am an absolute tiger when it comes to shoplifters!!!!!

  5. Yikes!!! We hear things moving in the grass while hiking and always check for snakes, but we haven’t seen one yet this summer.

    • Great point. There are other, much smaller critters in the grass capable of inflicting harm. “Tick Checks” after those ridge walks!

  6. Dining in WC last week when a gentlemen went sprinting by. He was obviously running from someone or something but no one made a move. People seem to be accepting this as part of their landscape.

  7. Two grown men fighting in Concord right now. think one may have tried to steal the other mans truck.

    • Construction Construction Construction. Are you riding today? May be a better way to get around!

      • If you are a legit news organization, why don’t you confirm that crime is up or down instead of making snide and sassy comments about suspects who “came to town” to shoplift? Your seem to suggest that perpetrators always come from elsewhere, but there are no details about any suspects in your story. Elsewhere on this site, you mock two men suspected of shoplifting because they are not dressed in a manner to your liking. Please do not claim to be journalists if your real intent is to feed into this us/them mentality that is so unbecoming of many people in this area. Anyway, do you see nothing heartbreaking about shoplifting baby formula? Or is that not part of the narrative you are interested in pushing?

        • Because our point, Emelie, is that while data on whether crime is up or down is always welcome it is also infrequently available and often doesn’t give us the whole picture. If you read us regularly, which we can assume from your post you do not, you’d know that we frequently point out the escapades of our own, homegrown “bad boys and girls,” BUT must and WILL point out the obvious trend of folks who come here from outlying areas with the expressed intent to rob and steal. It would be criminal of US to ignore this fact. As for our approach to the takeover robbery of the AT&T store in Martinez, we couldn’t care less how the culprits were dressed but, yes, did find it amusing that both had to work through a recurrent wardrobe malfunction while robbing the store. We guess if you cover several thousand robberies over the course of your career you work to find humor where you can. You didn’t like it. We’ll live with that. And as for our heartlessness relative to the widespread, organized theft of baby formula by criminal gangs (background also on the site, you may want to search for it) your anger is misplaced and misguided but we’re no strangers to either of those factors either – as many people continue to believe what they wish to believe is true. There’s very little we can do about that, we have found. Thanks for writing.

          • Let me back up this bus: I guess my frustration is less with your off-color humor and more with the fact that it exists within your reporting. Generally, opinions are saved for the editorial pages. And second: I am not trying to say that you do not report on other crimes. My point was that you did not include any details about the suspects in your actual article, but in the the comments, you suggested that these kinds of robberies were committed by people from elsewhere. I reasonable reader would then assume that was the case, but your reporting does not support that. I am just asking for evidence to support your claims.

        • I come here for the sassy comments. It’s usually because they happen to be right. But I’m also looking at the story you mention for the sass you mention and I don’t see it.

        • I can think of at least ten instances where it was found that people came to the area with the express intent of stealing from someone or robbing them. You may be confusing this site with one driven by PC doctrines and thinking – there are plenty enough of those around to read if you choose. I come here for a reason: their information is fast and local and almost always right. In fact I can’t remember a time when they were wrong.

          • Emelie – I understand where you’re coming from. You like your news “Walter Cronkite style.” It’s not uncommon. But for those of us who really appreciate News24/680 (especially their humor) what you’re saying is very foreign to us. We like this site, and appreciate all their hard work. Their information is fast and local, and they have a right to report any style they want. Have a blessed day…

        • I don’t want to be a buttinski here but according to the Pleasant Hill police and the latest post to this site the three guys suspected of murdering a Pleasant Hill man all came here from Georgia. I guess that qualifies as out of the area, right?

  8. My next door neighbor absolutely lost her mind when she saw a coyote on our street. Some of these people need to wake up and remember they live in California and that some animals still live here too.

  9. We have a gopher snake living under our porch. The gophers don’t dare show their faces.

  10. To Emelie Gunnison:
    Apparently we played out our string of allotted responses to your comment so we must start a new thread here. We’re not sure what you’ve picked up on but you don’t like it or our air. That’s common and expected, we know full well we’re not going to please everyone and we have given up hope of trying. Yes, we’re not your normal newspaper. Yes, we do inject an air of humor when we can. You cite comments we’ve made but not the article we make them in, and if we’ve said we have people coming to the 24/680 expressly to embark in a criminal endeavor that’s because we have empirical evidence to support that statement. It’s your right and privilege not to like what we say or the way we say it, but if we have found it to be the case we’re going to report it that way.

    • Preach! Well said and pretty much what I expect from this site. It should also be pointed out that there is no an (unfortunately) accepted practice of pointing a long bony finger at a person or institution and calling shame – and then repeating that claim over and over until it sticks. These people are trolls and should be treated as such IMO.

      • She’s not a troll. She has a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley and her dad lectures at Berkeley (journalism) as well. She teaches at Las Lomas in Walnut Creek. She has in the past anyway. I don’t know her, but I know who she is. If you’re a very perceptive person, it’s abundantly clear she’s a critical journalist. Who else would care?

        • She’s welcome here. She questioned our approach, we answered her. She doesn’t like the way we approach newsgathering and its dissemination in 2018 – we can’t help her with that and we told her why. But judging from some of her comments it appears classroom journalism is still quite a bit far removed from the sort of things we see and cover in the real world – something we found out about four months after leaving j-school for a daily paper.

          • Mr. O’Connor – I’m on your side… believe it or not. My point was we’re all more critical (of our own profession – or past professions) than laypersons. It’s human nature. We should be MORE supportive of our own profession. And sometimes we are. The good news is your readers have a higher opinion of you than most people (in any profession) because you were “born to write” and you’re very engaging. It’s very obvious you really enjoy what you do, and not everybody is that fortunate. Please write another book… if you can find the time. Amazon.com is running out of copies of “Age of Fear” (as gifts) and I’m running out of people in Lamorinda to give “Five Year Flash Subscriptions” to – just to be supportive. I give these people “cash.” I hope they’re subscribing…

  11. Responding to Danielle because we are, once again, at the end of the comment thread and must start another:

    We are most grateful for your support and that shown by so many others here at NEWS24/680. We must say that this is not about “taking sides.” It was clear long ago that doing this kind of work was not going to endear us to everyone, and sometimes very much the contrary. We’re prepared for that and expect it. But thank you for the very flattering and complimentary words. Another book is actually underway mainly because you’re spot on the mark – we love to move words around on a page until they have a nice ring to them.

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