Home NEWS Local Scene Criminal “Whack-a-Mole” In The 24/680; Crooks Exploit Holes In Our Defenses

Criminal “Whack-a-Mole” In The 24/680; Crooks Exploit Holes In Our Defenses


Aside from learning that we are required to shift descriptive phrasing from “protestors” to “rioters” in the middle of a breaking news story, we also found ourselves dispensing invaluable knowledge to those caught up in yesterday’s (Monday’s) seesaw street battle in Walnut Creek.

Reader Duane Chapman wrote asking if we knew of a surefire way to get the smell of pepper spray out of clothing and, after sharing what we knew, we realized we were no longer dwelling in the Suburbs of Yore.

Monday was a Game Changer as attitudes hardened, a few appeared to have shifted, and Bad Guys and Gaslighters tip-toed across the landscape in the aftermath of a hard day in the 24/680 – recreating the old amusement park game where you try to hit one mole with a mallet while another pokes his head up somewhere else. (No offense intended against moles… it’s a game.)

Our namesake nexus was, as most of you know by now, the epicenter of a pitched scrimmage for control of the freeways, with tear gas wafting across the “Y” as helpless motorists, trapped and unable to get out of the way, frantically rolled up car windows in an effort to escape the drifting fumes.

“I’ve just been tear-gassed” Luz González wrote from her car. “First time I’ve had that happen on my commute…..”

By 6:30 p.m. Monday, the demonstrator/protestor/rioter/anarchists some hold responsible for the ills of the nation had clambered down off the freeway and filtered back onto the streets of Walnut Creek, trading tear gas canisters with police and evading occasional police sweeps. Some local scribblers were apparently netted in those sweeps but, due to the generally enlightened attitudes of law enforcement in regard to the press out there there were no hard feelings, apparently. (Ed. Note – A private and personal thanks to those in law enforcement who clearly stated from the get-go how their folks were to deal with the media during these actions.)

Being the hardened Old Salts that we are we knew that things could get really squirrelly once darkness fell – imposition of curfews or not – and that criminal bands known to be working the area in the aftermath of local demonstrations were likely to filter in – which they apparently did.

We heard from business owners in Concord, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Richmond, and Orinda after thieves they described as “looters” but who we’re calling “experienced burglars” filtered into the area.

These professional crooks have been clearing out car lots (dozens of cars stolen in one fell swoop from one lot alone), pharmacies and at least one gun store that we know of in recent days. We noted one case last night when concerned citizens called for police after noticing activity at the Walgreens store at Treat and N. Main – an arriving police car triggering a burst of activity as several people ran from the building and into as many as five cars, leading police onto the freeway before splitting up onto westbound Highway 24 and southbound I680. Police were apparently able to stop one carload of people on I680 – the others got away.

In some cases, it appears, some business owners just gave up, leaving breached and open businesses unprotected as caravans of crooks arrived to take advantage. If you were victimized and care to talk about it, drop us a line.

Definitely a hard day and night in the 24/680 with dire threats of more to come on some social media pages. Again, we urge caution when viewing, forwarding such information as it does have repercussions and can be utilized to divert and distract and further agendas of various type.

We always disliked that sort of thing. Don’t you?

Keep in touch, folks, it has been sporty the last few days but we’ve “talked” with hundreds of you and thank you for your largely helpful insight, observations, and humor. We can’t print most of that last bit, but some of you did manage to provide a much-needed chuckle around our little newsroom.

Hang in.


  1. Required by whom?

    “Aside from learning that we are required to shift descriptive phrasing from “protestors” to “rioters” in the middle of a breaking news story”

    • Pick your side! Just more of the language as weapon thought line. We get it, but we try to keep communication clear and direct.

    • And one shot by police in Vallejo for doing the same thing. It turned out he was from San Francisco. So their coming out here to steal.

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