We’ve learned after many years of investigation that the news doesn’t confine itself to regular hours. Hence, those of us addicted to gathering the curious, sometimes dramatic but more often mundane details of life have taken to prowling our chosen areas of coverage during what Mister Sinatra used to refer to as “The Wee Small Hours.”
For those unfamiliar or actually able to get a nights sleep, the wee hours are populated by bartenders and their most dedicated customers, insomniacs and – in many cases of late – the criminally inclined.
For Nighthawking scribblers and “shooters” (i.e. photographers – not those others now known by the same name) the wee hours can be both productive and perilous.
Lately, with so-called “fringe” populations warmed and on the move and alcoholic and pharmaceutical party favors in play, the Night Shift has been heating up as predictably as those downtown digital weather signs.
Readers in Walnut Creek noted the presence of police, crime scene tape and, eventually, a coroner’s van after the discovery of a deceased person under a truck at the lonely end of Lennon Lane Saturday. One of several local cases currently “under investigation.”
Neighbors said Saturday’s discovery makes two fatalities in two weeks on Lennon Lane, which is ironically filled with medical providers.
Elsewhere, partygoers fueled by too much tequila and perhaps heightened Oppositional Defiant Disorder came to the attention of police after trying to duck out on dinner bills or slugging it out with guests at public functions around town, drawing blood or a booking slip in some cases.
Many victims of local crimes, it seems, are eschewing police interaction and turning to increasingly sophisticated means of investigating those who transgress against them on their own, this being a hub for technology and all. A Lamorindan recently tracked his stolen car by means of a clandestine AirTag – pinging the vehicle to a location in Lafayette before dialing up the law – and others are doing the same with pilfered laptops, back packs and other items. Some are using drones or game cameras equipped with night vision to track or scare off trespassers roaming their properties at night.
And speaking of cameras and photographers we know we live in paranoid times and that, sometimes, a little bit of paranoia can be a good thing but we would ask that folks use a little common sense and actually see some form of transgression before calling down the thunder on a person with a camera. Somehow we’ve gotten from the days of the amateur Polaroid Moment-maker to miscreant – and having a camera shouldn’t make a person an immediate suspect. Just something to consider.
That’s all for now, perhaps we’ll see some of you in the wee small hours sometime soon.