Burglaries are cause for alarm


MONTCLAIR had its wonderful holiday stroll last night. There were warm, fuzzy feelings all around. But there’s trouble percolating in paradise and if something isn’t done — the character of our village will change forever.

In the wee hours of night, when the pubs are emptying and delivery trucks are making their rounds, there’s another element of society at work. Burglars, who use cover of darkness to break into businesses and spirit away goods, even as alarms are piercing the air.

It’s happened to Joe Sullivan twice since summer. Thugs have smashed his window at Montclair Pharmacy and grabbed, of all things, bottles of Codeine-laced cough syrup.

“They drink it to get high,” says Sullivan, who says they only got two bottles the other night — and one of them broke in the escape.

But what really irks this long-time shop owner is that no-one reported the alarm or the broken window to police.

“Someone must have seen something,” he says, “because they pulled the frame off the door and used that as a pry to get past the laminated glass. It wasn’t a quick smash and grab.”

And Montclair Pharmacy is just one of several village shops that has suffered overnight break-ins.

“Things in Oakland aren’t going to change until people help them change,” Sullivan laments. “Until people report what they’re seeing.” If we don’t, he predicts shop owners will have to resort to metal bars on their windows. Metal bars in Montclair Village ? Not very idyllic, is it?

CELEBRITY SIGHTING: Guess who bought one of the first Christmas trees at the Boy Scout tree lot on Moraga Avenue in Piedmont? The hills’ newest high-profile resident, Jerry Brown. Reader Terry Lee says the state attorney general and former Oakland mayor stayed a half-hour to talk to the boys, who run the stand annually as a fundraiser. By the way — the Scouts have gone green this year, selling energy-efficient LED tree lights which use 98 percent less electricity than conventional lights. And the lot is well-stocked with 300 more trees, after selling out completely last holiday season.

E-MAIL BAG: Thanks to reader Liane Scott for letting me know about a free trip to Japan for Oakland fifth-graders. It’s for kids who want to be Junior Ambassadors and travel to Oakland’s sister city, Fukuoka. The two week cultural exchange includes a home stay with a Japanese family and time at a global camp with kids from some 43 different countries and regions. It’s sponsored by The Oakland Fukuoka Sister City Association (OFSCA) and the Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC) and applications can be downloaded on their Web site at http://www.oakland-fukuoka.org.

DOG’S WORLD: The much-anticipated Glamour Paws pet boutique is open in Montclair and is fast developing a reputation for designer doggy wear. I saw several “well-heeled” pups coming out of there, the other day, with new houndstooth jackets. OK, maybe not houndstooth, but this shop does sell jackets, sweaters, tee-shirts and even tutus for dogs who want to lead the pack when it comes to style. And why not? With Montclair ‘s canine mayor — it seems only fitting.


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