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Chilly – But With A Hot Chase To Warm The Dog Watch Up Wednesday


Hope folks were sheltering against that cold that settled over us this morning, down into the low 30s and driving some of the unsheltered to desperate measures – with tragic results in San Francisco, it appears.

Closer to home, things got a bit warmer in Moraga and Orinda as police engaged in a pre-dawn pursuit through our town(s) that ended with an arrest in Oakland (stolen car and other offenses apparently) as everyone except the unfortunate few working Dog Watch slept through the whole thing.

Which leads to another question, posed by a reader who asks how much is happening out there that we’re missing? The short answer is, well, lots – as the powers that be see no motivation to inform a complacent citizenry happy enough as long as their own home isn’t being burgled or burning down.

Our painfully small band of shooters and scribblers get a lot of it, but not all of it – as the Keepers of the Keys (and Info) – like to remind us from time to time, usually with a sly wink and not-so-gentle reminder that “you’re only getting about half of what we want you to know.” And, yes, that drives us pretty nuts.

So it’s another hour to sun-up and a cup of coffee to warm up. Just another shift on the Dog Watch.


  1. Of course a few of our fellow commentators would say that it’s the fault of police and slavery. Our local electeds would like us to just ignore it and arrest police for aggressive tactics. 108RS

    • Jeff is so very right! Some of you out there bristle with his comments but you have your heads in the sand. You better wake up.
      …… Bet these criminals were caught but released and ready to do some more dirty work coming close to you!

      • We don’t doubt that it’s happening but we’re just REALLY tired of hearing the same people say the same shit over and over again. It’s boring.

    • I’m going to go ahead and say yes, it is mostly due to the police, who usually develop a certain attitude that leads them to believe that “civilians” neither need to know nor deserve to know what is going on regarding crime and crime fighting in their own communities. Add to that elected officials who fret about mugshots, and a decimated local media that no longer fields enough investigative reporters to try to pry info from the police, we wind up with uninformed citizens.

      • @Interested Observer- I know it’s fashionable currently to blame law enforcement for everything now but I completely disagree with that part of your statement. Law enforcement has never been open to releasing info on investigations until completion, that is nothing new. Most Police departments don’t have the staffing to have someone release crime statistics daily and I can tell you detectives don’t have the time to do it either. Plus in this day and age if police departments did have the funds to staff someone to do it you’d have arguing from some in the public that the info was biased.
        I worked for 28 yrs in the county, most of it as a Detective. I had local reporters that called me daily to get info, I had reporters show up at scenes and court, I knew them personally and they knew me. Local papers had junior reporters come into the station house daily to read the beat reports and public records. Nobody is reporting it because nobody wants to pay for local news, it all ended with the demise of local papers.
        I am sure it’s frustrating for news24/680 and maybe they can speak to how they obtain their info from local agencies. My guess is their operation isn’t full of staff going out to scenes and court and walking into stations daily.
        Local news papers are probably gone for good but if you value local reporting you need to SUPORT LOCAL NEWS BY DONATING to fund them, otherwise they won’t be around forever either.
        Unfortunately these days people for the most part don’t seem interested until they or someone they know becomes a victim.

        Sorry for the long post

        • First cogent discussion I’ve seen on the topic of local news coverage and I was not surprised to see it had been started by someone formerly in law enforcement!

          The sad truth is that local newspapers are in decline and probably will not be around much longer, leaving much of what they do to sites like this one – who have found a way to operate efficiently and ethically and with a lot less overhead than their dying colleagues. As a result, I have watched this site grow, visit it routinely, and regularly find coverage of incidents I haven’t been able to fine anywhere else. As an example of this I cite their coverage of the tragic but truly frightening incident in Moraga recently in which an armed standoff was underway with virtually no one aware of what was happening in their midst.

          This site was the only site in the Bay Area to provide real time coverage of an incident that was rapidly going downhill, with dozens of police flooding a neighborhood and local police issuing only a stay away/lock your doors advisory the entire time while residents scrambled to find out what was happening. This site issued regular alerts via their alert app and their social media and had their first story on their site within minutes of the standoff starting to happen.

          They covered it right down to its sad, horrible end and did it with tact and sensitivity. They have since resisted an effort to TAKE DOWN the story in true Moraga style as well as to RELEASE MORE INFORMATION which would only have harmed innocent victims.

          I watched as their followers rose exponentially and asked the people who answer their emails if it had led to additional public support. Their answer was that more people had signed up for their flash alerts but that no one had actually paid ANYTHING for news they couldn’t get anywhere else. I remember thinking what we used to pay for a newspaper subscription when they said that.

          Since I’m in business I asked them how long they could go on like that and they said “until we can’t.” In the meantime people get to bleat and blather about nonsensical and frankly pretty stupid neighborhood BS on next bore while demanding “updates” and New York Times-style journalism from what is essentially a group of volunteers.

          And since we’re talking frankly thanks to the initial poster here I think one day people who have come to depend on this site for their news are going to wake up and find that it is gone. And only then will they say “I wish I had known, I could have done something.”

        • Thank you for your post. Do you happen to read our local bi-weekly, the Lamorinda Weekly? It’s distributed free to residents of the area. Until a few years ago, the Moraga “crime report” section of the paper actually had fairly good factual information and description of what was going on, law enforcement-wise. Then, a couple of years ago, the police stopped releasing detailed information and now we get a “police blotter” that looks like this:


          “Traffic 54
          Suspicious Circumstances 2
          Suspicious Subject 5
          Suspicious Vehicle 9
          Service to Citizen 43”

          That’s really informative and useful info from law enforcement, isn’t it?

          Now, compare that to this older “police blotter”:


          “Identity theft, 10/01/12 A Birchwood Drive resident was contacted by her detail-oriented financial analyst in Orange County about a fraudulent e-mail sent from one of her e-mail accounts about preparing for a wire transfer of funds. The wire transfer was cancelled before any money changed hands. An unknown suspect appeared to have hacked the account and gotten sensitive personal information.

          Kids unattended in car, 10/01/12 Cops responded to the parking lot in front of T.J. Maxx after getting a call that two small children had been left for an unknown length of time inside a parked car on a warm day. When police arrived the mother was back along with her two school aged children. She claims she was unable to remove one of the kids because he was upset and struggling, so she left the door open as she walked away, while watching the kids. After a couple minutes she returned to the car and her son started to calm down – then they all went shopping. Officers were unable to determine how long the kids had been left unattended.

          House burgled, 9/22/12, A Greenfield Drive homeowner was out of town for approximately nine days when someone entered her home by breaking through a sliding glass door in her master bedroom. Several pieces of jewelry were taken from the bathroom and dresser – estimated loss $650. No witnesses or leads at this time.”

          Same exact newspaper my friend. Now, please explain again how it’s the decline in local news, and not LEO getting tighter-lipped that’s the cause.

          • Hey 24/680,

            It’s not very easy to find the place to sign up on your webpage, make it easier!!!! 108RS

          • Um, most people read left to right, how about putting it in the left column on the top, much easier. Are you going to be the third business I’m now running? And training WCPD. 108RS

          • Ah, you mean where our MASTHEAD now resides – the very name of our Digital Rag?

            You’re more than welcome to try your hand at running this loose band of miscreants BUT you better brush up on your Newspaper History and Computer Design skills!

          • Well, I own some newspapers from the 17th century, does that count as history? Computers, I’m able to turn mine on in the morning. 108RS

          • @Interested Observer- again you seem to place blame on LE obviously you have an issue. I do not live in Lamorinda, I did work in the area for a few yrs. at one point , I’m in P.Hill.

            I would first ask the local paper why it changed, my guess is nobody goes into the police department and fills out the required paperwork to get releases. Odds are just they sending an email asking for the call log, hence they get nothing but an extremely abbreviated version of a calls. The local PD’s are not going to pay someone to summarize police reports and forward them to a local paper.

            Again my guess is the paper doesn’t have the funds to hire somebody to do it, also probably why it’s biweekly and not daily or even weekly. I would also ask the your Chief of police if you don’t get a good answer or your City Hall. The answer is probably going to be the same from your local gov., “we don’t have the funds to pay someone to put out all the info”. In my experience working in the Lamorinda although very affluent the public was very tight with funding their police services.

          • Hey 24/680,

            Picked this one up from one of your worthy competitors”

            This happened last Tuesday at the Walgreens in the Encina shopping center.
            Oak Grove and Ygnacio. I was able to take photos of the vehicle a Silver Mercedes SUV ML 350 Cal. 6LLF055 before it left the parking lot with two women carrying over $5000 of stolen items. It’s my understanding, that Walgreens didn’t even report it, until WCPD responded to the citizens calls.


          • Morning, Jeff…
            Yep, and they’re not alone. We’re legging out some reports of car-to-car gunfire in recent days, with flying lead trumping the retail thefts. Those are ongoing and it is our understanding as well that many of the retail stores aren’t calling in their thefts lately.

          • Well, that’s good, ’cause the less lead flying around the better we feel. One of our guys up-armored for the first time in many years this month.

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