2016-05-05_220741

The Walnut Creek Police are investigating an auto burglary and fraud case.

Here’s the story (along with the photos shown above) from the victim:

My car was broken into this past Friday while I was dropping off my child at school, west side of Walnut Creek. They must have been watching us and noticed I did not walk away with my purse, only a kids backpack. Unfortunately, no one in parking lot saw what had happened.

The WC police have been notified and are looking into this.

My credit cards were first used at the 7-11 and 76 station on N. Main, Walnut Creek (within 10 minutes of me signing me child into school)

We have images of the suspected persons (shown above) from a video surveillance camera retrieved by WC police from Target, Walnut Creek (attempted use of my credit card to purchase electronics a little more than 30 minutes after child drop off) as well as their car.

My passenger front window was completely smashed, other minor damage to doors. Purse and all its contents taken.

My credit cards were first used at the 7-11 and 76 station on N. Main, Walnut Creek.

Additional cards of mine were attempted to be used in Pacheco and Martinez within 2 hours of the incident.

I visited 7 nearby schools/preschools today to share my story and perhaps remind others not to do the same as me, leaving valuables in car (hopefully helpful for parents as well as staff). Almost all I spoke to today had stories of similar car break-in incidents at drop-off or pick up times, but nothing recent.

Today in visiting one of these other schools, it appears one staff member noticed a person parked next to her car yesterday evening, no other cars in parking lot, sot it seemed strange to her (likeness of male and green Ford Explorer Sport Trac in the photo we have from police). He peered into the car window and then left. Too bad she was not aware of my incident (half a mile away). If so, maybe she could have gotten a license plate.

I’ve always thought parks, park trails would be easy targets, but honestly never thought a school would be (when caregivers/parents are gone so short of time from school, many people coming/going).

Maybe, it just might help another person (when out and about or at home). And Maybe, someone might recognize or provide info to assist the WC police in solving this case.

If you recognize the people pictured above, you can contact the Walnut Creek Police.

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Unsafe speeds led to a collision that six vehicles ended up involved in this morning on state Highway 4 in Concord, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The collision, which was reported at 5:54 a.m. on Highway 4 near Willow Pass Road, began when a Honda Civic traveling at an unsafe speed rear-ended a Saturn Ion, CHP Officer Brandon Correia said.

The two vehicles began to veer out of control and four approaching vehicles — a Dodge car, a Ford van, a Chevrolet SUV and a Dodge pickup truck — crashed while trying to avoid the vehicles.

Five people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries as a result of the collision, Correia said.

The two vehicles that initially collided had an occupant each who suffered injuries. The three others were occupants of the Dodge car.

Ten people in all complained of pain but half declined to be taken to a hospital and were treated by paramedics at the scene, according to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

The collision caused an extensive backup on Highway 4 and side roads, as two lanes were blocked on the highway during that time, Correia said.

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The “Water Cooler” is a feature on Claycord.com where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

The Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs is eschewing the terms “felon” and “convict” when officials refer to individuals convicted of crimes, opting instead for less “disparaging labels,” Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason announced Wednesday, according to an article this week in the Washington Post.

The Office of Justice Programs plans to substitute terminology such as “person who committed a crime” and “individual who was incarcerated” in speeches and other communications as part of an effort to remove barriers that officials say hinder progress of those who re-enter society after completing their prison sentences, the Post reported.

QUESTION: What’s your opinion on this? Do you think the terms “felon” and “convict” are disparaging?

Talk about it!

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chp

Five people were taken to a hospital after a collision this morning on state Highway 4 in Concord.

The six-vehicle collision was first reported at 5:54 a.m. on Highway 4 near Willow Pass Road, according to the California Highway Patrol and Fire Marshal Robert Marshall.

Ten people were injured but five declined to be taken to a hospital. The five who refused transport were treated by paramedics and released, Marshall said.

He did not know the extent of the injuries of the five who went to the hospital.

Fire officials initially said as many as seven people had been taken to the hospital.

The collision caused an extensive backup on Highway 4 and side roads.

The highway is now open, and no lanes are blocked.

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cpd

The Concord Police Department’s Traffic Unit conducted a DUI Saturation Patrol from May 5th – May 6th, between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.

High visibility DUI enforcement efforts have a deterrent effect lowering the incidents of impaired driving and will continue thanks to special funding for extra officers to patrol for this deadly crime, according to the Concord Police Department.

The following are the results of the saturation patrols:

  • 60 Vehicle enforcement stops
  • 3 DUI-Alcohol suspects arrested
  • 1 Arrested on other Criminal Charges
  • 5 Drivers cited/arrested for operating a vehicle unlicensed or while suspended/revoked
  • 20 Other citations issued

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of their DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, other expenses that can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out, police said.

Concord Police will be conducting another DUI Saturation Patrol in the near future in the Department’s ongoing commitment to lowering deaths and injuries upon the city’s streets and highways, according to police.

The DUI Saturation Patrol was funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1’.

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missing

17-year-old Kelsey Dahl has been missing from Pleasant Hill since Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Her parents are frantically searching for her, so any information on her whereabouts is greatly appreciated. Kelsey’s phone hasn’t been used since she disappeared, according to her parents.

If you have any information, please call the numbers listed on the flyer shown above.

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The California Highway Patrol this morning is reporting a serious crash on westbound state Highway 4 in Concord.

The crash occurred on the highway near Willow Pass Road, according to the CHP.

The CHP is reporting several vehicles are involved, and the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District is reporting seven patients are being transported to the hospital.

At least two lanes of the roadway are currently blocked.

UPDATE, 8 a.m.: All lanes are now open.

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crossings_garage_sale

The 31st annual Crossings Garage Sale will take place this Saturday between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The Crossings neighborhood is located in Concord, off Ygnacio Valley Rd. between Cowell Rd. and Ayers Rd.

Click on the image shown above to learn more.

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alej

A Concord dental assistant accused of molesting young girls pleaded not guilty today in a Martinez courtroom to 12 different charges, prosecutors said.

Alejandro Saro, 24, of Antioch, made a court appearance today for an arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Aron DeFerrari said. DeFerrari, who is prosecuting the case, said the number of alleged victims is up to five.

Saro was initially arrested on April 2 on suspicion of molesting a sedated 8-year-old girl in a Concord dental office. Four additional victims, all under the age of 14, have been identified as victims since.

Most of the victims were allegedly inappropriately touched during visits to La Clinica Monument dental office at 2000 Sierra Road, where Saro has worked since March 2015, according to police.

He also worked at Patino Orthodontics at 2751 Concord Blvd., where at least one of the victims was allegedly molested, and Concord and Antioch locations of Western Dental before that, police said.

The initial allegation that led to Saro’s arrest was a girl reporting that he touched and photographed her vaginal area as she was being sedated with medical gas in an exam room at La Clinica Monument.

Saro, who is still being held at Martinez Detention Facility on $8.1 million bail, was originally charged with eight counts of forcible lewd acts upon a child and a count of possessing child pornography, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.

He is now facing three additional counts related to recently identified victims.

Concord police Cpl. Christopher Blakely previously indicated that the number of victims could well exceed five, based on a plethora of videos allegedly found in Saro’s possession.

More details on the case may be revealed during the preliminary hearing, which prosecutors said has been scheduled for a date in August.

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This Mother’s Day, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) reminds customers that the gift of metallic balloons can cause power outages and pose a public safety risk.  Last year, metallic balloons striking electric lines caused 370 power outages in PG&E’s service area, disrupting electric service to more than 198,000 homes and businesses. And last year in the East Bay, 77 power outages caused by metallic balloons disrupted electric service to more than 47,000 customers. That’s why PG&E is supporting California Assembly Bill 2709 – legislation that aims to drastically reduce power outages and enhance public safety by banning the sale or distribution of balloons made of electrically conductive material.

“Electric outages caused by metallic balloons have steadily increased in the last decade, despite public service announcements and awareness campaigns. Public safety is PG&E’s top priority and we want to help ensure that balloons are enjoyed responsibly, so the appliances stay on to provide breakfast in bed for mom,” said Jason Regan, director, PG&E Emergency Management.

In addition to disrupting electric service, metallic balloons contacting power lines can create a public safety risk. Last year, a metallic balloon striking a power line sparked the Webb Fire which burned 75 acres in Butte County.

AB 2709, introduced by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), is under consideration by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. If passed, the balloon ban would go into effect Jan. 1, 2018. California Municipal Utilities Association, California Fire Chiefs Association, City of Glendale Water and Power Department, Fire Districts Association of California, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Southern California Edison and Southern California Public Power Authority also support the bill.

With Mother’s Day on Sunday, PG&E urges families celebrating with balloons to follow these important safety tips:

  • “Look Up and Live!” Use caution and avoid celebrating with metallic balloons near overhead electric lines.
  • Make sure helium-filled metallic balloons are securely tied to a weight that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away. Never remove the weight.
  • Keep metallic balloons indoors, when possible. For everyone’s safety, never permit metallic balloons to be released outside.
  • Do not bundle metallic balloons together.
  • Never attempt to retrieve any type of balloon, kite or toy that becomes caught in a power line. Leave it alone, and immediately call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to report the problem.
  • Never go near a power line that has fallen to the ground or is dangling in the air. Always assume downed electric lines are energized and extremely dangerous. Stay far away, keep others away and immediately call 911 to alert the police and fire departments.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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fire

A small fire was reported this afternoon at a supermarket in Walnut Creek, a Contra Costa County Fire Protection District dispatcher said.

The fire was reported at 2:04 p.m. at the Sprouts Farmers Market at 1530 Geary Road.

The fire was in a garbage compactor at the store and was quickly extinguished, the dispatcher said.

No injuries were reported and crews were already being released from the scene as of shortly before 2:30 p.m., she said.

No other information about the incident was immediately available.

photo credit: @ContraCostaFire on Twitter

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These goats are livin’ the good life.

Hundreds of goats have been placed on a Martinez hillside in an effort to control the weeds in time for fire season.

They’ll be there for a few more days before they move on to their next meal/job.

Thanks to Craig Cannon for the pictures!

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The following statement is from Congressman Mark DeSaulnier:

“Last summer, I was diagnosed with the most common leukemia in the world, a cancer named Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). I recently completed aggressive chemotherapy. I feel fortunate that I had a positive response to this treatment, and that neither CLL nor the treatment impacted my professional work.

CLL is a chronic disorder many Americans face, which doctors liken to diabetes and hypertension. While CLL cannot currently be completely cured, incredible breakthroughs, medical advancements and cutting edge therapies are allowing it to be managed over a lifetime. As a result of these developments, there are approximately 1.2 million Americans, like myself, living long, full lives with blood cancer.

Before sharing my diagnosis, I had much to consider personally and professionally. My doctors assured me that people with CLL, myself included, could continue to work and function at a high level. The medical professionals were right; I have been able to go home every weekend, except one, logging over 170,000 miles flown, held 14 town halls, had meetings with thousands of constituents, and maintained a 99.1% voting average in my first session of Congress.

By publicly sharing my story, I hope to add my voice to the growing number of people fighting cancer and the other chronic conditions so many families confront. I look forward to continuing to serve the people of our district, and do so stronger and with a better understanding having faced this experience.”

CLAYCORD NOTE: We wish Congressman DeSaulnier all the best.

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art_walk

All proceeds benefit the American Association of University Women-Concord Branch, helping to support educational scholarships for local girls and women.

Click on the flyer shown above to learn more.

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The “Water Cooler” is a feature on Claycord.com where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

We’re looking for the best Mexican food in the entire BAY AREA, not just Claycord. If it’s in Claycord, then great, but if it’s not, then tell us where, and why they’re so good.

Talk about it!

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marijuana

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and others announced that an initiative legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for adults has collected enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

Supporters said the measure, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, has collected more than 600,000 signatures, well over the 365,880 it needs to qualify for the Nov. 8 ballot.

The measure would allow adults 21 and older to possess, transport and use up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes and grow up to six plants. It would also tax retail sales at 15 percent, although it allows
local communities to opt out of licensing retail sales.

Speaking at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Newsom said the measure had been carefully developed to address issues that had emerged in other states where marijuana has been legalized, and to provide flexibility to lawmakers to address any problems as they emerge.

“We’re not doing this lightly, we’re doing it very thoughtfully,” Newsom said.

He said the legislation was essential to address the failed war on drugs, and its costs both in dollars and in impacts on the lives of those arrested for marijuana use.

“You do not have to be pro-marijuana to be pro-legalization, that’s not what this is about,” he said, noting that he personally was not a fan.

Newsom spoke with a group of backers that included U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, University of California at San Francisco Hematology-Oncology division chief Donald Abrams, former Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Stephen Downing and state National Association for the Advancement of Colored People President Alice Huffman.

A previous measure seeking to legalize marijuana, Proposition 19, was defeated by 53.5 percent in 2010. In the time since then several other states have legalized marijuana and backers of this measure said they believe public opinion has shifted.

A Bay Area Council poll of Bay Area residents released found that 50 percent supported legalizing recreational use of marijuana in California and another 10 percent answered “don’t know.” The measure would require a simple majority to pass.

Support was strongest in San Francisco at 56 percent and in the North Bay at 54 percent. Support was weakest in San Mateo County, the only county where opponents slightly outnumbered supporters, at 43 percent.

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kelsey

A Contra Costa resident is asking for your help to find his daughter, who he says has been missing for almost 24 hours.

Michael Dahl says “If anyone has seen my daughter Kelsey, please let me know. She has now been missing for almost 24 hours. The police, her school and many of her friends have been notified. Her phone is off and we have run out of leads and suggestions. My cell phone is 925-222-0711 or call the Pleasant Hill Police Department at 925-288-4600.”

Or call 911 if it’s an emergency.

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We’re getting thunder, lightning and hail in Claycord.

Rain is expected throughout the day in Claycord, so use caution if you’re on the roads.

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northgate1

The Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) will discuss on Monday, and possibly rescind their vote to assign students from Diablo View Middle School (Clayton) and Pine Hollow Middle School (Concord) to Northgate High School (Walnut Creek).

At least one Mt. Diablo Unified School Board Member is saying he “got it wrong” when he voted to make Northgate High School in Walnut Creek the home school for children at Pine Hollow and Diablo View.

MDUSD Board Member Brian Lawrence gave the following statement to Claycord.com late Thursday evening.

“It certainly has been an interesting week as a MDUSD Board Member. Many people have heard about the MDUSD Board’s vote regarding the Northgate and Clayton Valley feeder patterns. My colleague Linda Mayo was the only one to vote against last week’s action. She got it right. I got it wrong.

There is a lot of inaccurate information circulating (such as the possibility that 300 additional students will be attending Northgate next year), but one thing is abundantly clear. Large segments of our community felt blindsided by this action. That is an indication that we failed to communicate what was being considered and what was then enacted. That is reason enough for us have held off on approving the boundary change. In retrospect, MDUSD should have done more to share what was happening and I personally could have done a better job of verifying that our community was adequately notified.

Over the weekend, I submitted a request to Board President Cheryl Hansen that an item to rescind the action be placed on our May 9th agenda. President Hansen has placed my item on the agenda for Monday night.

My belief is that we need to allow the community to fully weigh in on this potential change to the feeder pattern. We still need to provide a home high school for Pine Hollow and Diablo View Middle Schools. We also need to understand how we missed on communicating and make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

This statement comes just a few hours after a story was posted on Claycord.com, saying the City of Walnut Creek planned to send the MDUSD a “very strong” letter opposing the recent boundary change.

The MDUSD will discuss, and possibly rescind their vote on Monday, May 9, 2016 during their 7 p.m. meeting in the School District Board Room – 1936 Carlotta Dr. in Concord.

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