Town crier: Thieves look for opportunities in Oakland hills

MONTCLARION: September 13, 2013

The Oakland hills have been in the “crime-light” a lot this summer. It began June 20 with two thugs ramming their truck through the front of the Park Boulevard 76 station and hauling away the ATM. Then there were the trio of robberies at Bank of the West in Montclair — seemingly all committed by one suspect. Last week, employees spotted the man outside the bank — yet again — and this time they locked the door and called police.

Finally, there’s the crime that involved a vehicle stolen from a Parkridge Estates home while the family was on vacation. Police tracked the car to a suspect who was barricaded inside a liquor store last Friday afternoon. Hopefully, the homeowners will get back the jewelry, computers and flat screen TVs that were also taken in the burglary.

In each case, our best defense was our vigilance. The police need our help, so let’s continue to keep our eyes and ears open and work with our neighborhood watch groups.

Email bag: Speaking of the ATM theft on Park Boulevard, reader Kym Proctor hopes motorists will support the gas station now that it’s open again. “I feel so terrible for the owner of that station losing so much business,” she writes. “Maybe there’s a way the greater community can help him out …” Good idea, Kym. Let’s try to fill up at this 76 station and show that we care.

Around town: Montclair’s newest mosaic flowerpot is catching more than a few eyes with its colorful tribute to Norway. Longtime Village property owners the Sorensens are sponsoring the planter as a tribute to their family heritage. You can see artist Gina Dominguez’s (Snapshot Mosaics) latest addition to the streetscape at the corner of La Salle and Mountain.

Crogan’s has added a local twist to its menu — desserts made by local baker Jeni Shell. She creates cakes in her spare time, when she’s not busy being a mom or running her family owned day-care business. Her chocolate peanut butter cake is addictive — and possibly spawned by her work with peanut butter sandwiches over the years.

Love, love: Tennis players call it one of Oakland’s “hidden jewels.” Davie Tennis Stadium (198 Oak Road) is bringing back hometown hero Brad Gilbert for an exhibition Sept. 28. Gilbert grew up playing on this public court, and Arthur Ashe used to play here, too. For $25, (VIP $150) you can see Gilbert play former No. 6 world player and Olympic silver medalist Wayne Ferreira in the 12:30 p.m. match. See for more information.

Lotta laughs: This is the last weekend for “Legally Blonde: The Musical” at Woodminster Amphitheater. This hilarious adaptation of the Reese Witherspoon movie is so funny it nearly brought down the house on opening night. Actress Claire Buchignani nails the role of perky Harvard prep Elle Woods and the 42-member cast includes two scene-stealing canines. Woodminster wraps up its 2013 season on Sunday, so plan a picnic and grab some laughs under the stars. For more information, go to


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