On Tuesday of this week we suffered six residential burglaries. Six in one day! To put this in perspective, we usually have about eight to 10 per month. These burglaries occurred on the east side of the city and appear to have been committed by the same people that have been burglarizing homes in unincorporated Lafayette and Walnut Creek. To tackle the problem on Wednesday, with the help of Walnut Creek PD and Orinda PD, we flooded the area with a team of about ten cars. The result was dismal: we actually had another burglary and didn’t catch anyone.
Wednesday afternoon, however, there was an interrupted burglary in the northern Lafayette, and Walnut Creek PD detectives intercepted the bad guys with their ill-gotten gains still in their vehicle. Along with items that had just been stolen from a home, there were many other items of jewelry in the bad guys’ vehicle.
Because we weren’t sure if these were the same guys, and because we were still determined to stop these burglaries, we put the same team into the field again yesterday. But: still another burglary! This time, however, we got a description of the van and when our crime scene technician just happened to see a vehicle matching the description on the way back from the victim’s house, she radioed the license plate to Detective Hernandez, who traced it to a home in Pittsburg. Upon arriving at that location this afternoon, Hernandez found loads of apparently stolen goods and was able to apprehend a suspect.
With these two arrests, have we solved the crime problem in Lafayette? No. As long as there are bad guys, Lafayette – with its affluence and easy access – will be a target. But with good police work and great neighborhood coordination and activism, we can minimize the problem.
Back to the neighborhood Google e-mail distribution. Falk shared some samples of the kinds of e-mail that neighbors have been sharing with one another and that are likely to help make the neighborhood safe:
I noticed a man driving an old blue Chevy Van with tinted windows circling and acting "suspicious" in the neighborhood just a few moments ago (breaking every so often, almost pulling off to the side and then not). I took down the lic plate and called the Sheriff’s department - they are sending someone out as I type this now. --Danielle
The Sheriff's Dept. is doing an undercover sweep of the area today (Wed.). I saw a suspicious silver Ford Sedan with darkened windows drive through the neighborhood today. I followed it and called it in. As I was calling it in, the Sheriff appeared right after the car. I talked to the Sheriff and he said there are going to be a lot of cars like this going through the neighborhood today. He's just cruising the neighborhood on the look out. This time the car is looking out for us! --Michelle
I just-saw him too. I also saw a man on a bicycle by Juanita and Kinney just stopped and on a cell phone - very suspicious. The Sheriff drove by and stopped to check him out. --Deb