Town Crier: Crimes of opportunity abound in Oakland


MONTCLARION: September 18, 2009

They call them “crimes of opportunity” for a reason. Take away the temptation and you eliminate the crime.

Car thieves and vandals have been having a heyday in the hills, lately. In many cases, these crimes could be prevented if folks would just put their cars in the garage (or for those without garages, a driveway).

Consider the facts. You’ve got car thieves and burglars in every city – and they’re looking for ways to maximize their profits – just like the rest of us. What better place to shop than where the merchandise is plentiful. Expensive cars on dark, quiet streets – we might as well put up a billboard saying we’re open for business.

Hills homeowner Doug Mosher knows the lesson well. “Both our cars – parked  in our driveway – had their tires slashed one year, then windows broken the next.” Mosher cleaned out his garage to fit both cars and a motorcycle, and he hasn’t had problems since.

The solution is simple, really. Getting cars off the street should be a priority. Ignore the warnings and you’re just inviting trouble – for you and your neighbors.

Golf drive: With charitable giving way down, the local Lions Club is going out of its way to court golfers for its annual tournament Sept. 23. Not only is it a great day of golf at a premier course (Boundary Oaks in Walnut Creek), the prizes this year are extraordinary, including ballooning, sailing, white water rafting and a five day cruise for two. Any way you slice it – this is one event golfers shouldn’t miss. Call (925)934-6212 for more information.

Dancing Queen: Congratulations to hometown talent Lindy Cabot (01’Bishop O’Dowd grad) for competing with her dance troupe on America’s Got Talent. Lindy and The Lollipop Girls out of San Diego were in the top 40 acts nationwide when they performed on the television show a few weeks ago. “They were treated like royalty,” says mother Carol. The girls were put up at a 4-star hotel, picked up in a Limo and even had hair and make-up artists. The burlesque troupe didn’t advance, but are plenty popular in Southern Cal – even without the publicity.

Email bag: I’ve heard from several readers in the wake of last week’s item on hills students enrolling at Oakland Tech.  Reader Joanna Berg says her family spent $40,000 a year to send their two sons to Head-Royce before discovering this urban alternative.

Diane Heinze says her daughter just started her sophomore year at Oakland Tech and is thriving with “a very demanding work load, including Pre-calculus, AP biology, Paedia, English/history and Engineering.  She’s also on the school paper (“The Scribe” that was resurrected last year), and plays soccer.”

And reader Renee Kardener writes “Tech has a wonderful group of very active parents and dedicated teachers.  The school is very diverse and is improving.”

Deadheads Unite: No, I’m not trying to bring back Jerry Garcia; I just want to plug the volunteer gardeners at The Morcom Rose Garden on Jean Street. Talk about “flower power”, they even wear tie-dyed t-shirts when they pinch the dead blooms. The Dedicated Deadheaders have work parties from 9-1 pm the first Wednesday and the second Saturday of each month. They’d be grateful if you’d join them.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by phone at 510-273-9418, by email at ginnyprior@hotmail.com or on the web at http://www.ginnyprior.com.

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