Last night, I stopped into our Thornhill 7-Eleven on the way home from work. It was after 11pm or so, and I needed some pita chips and peanuts to make it through the night.
Every so often, I run into police officers around there or the gas station. It’s been a while since I was complaining about ridiculous gas prices with some cops. Late Tuesday, I entered the store while cops were picking up their sustenance too – and we discussed the hills scene.
These two officers patrol the hills at night, and cover a very large area. Based on my chat with one policeman, I can say that he seemed really caring and clued into what’s happening around Montclair. We are concerned about getting things stolen, and he knows all about it – and noted that perps come from Contra Costa as much as Alameda county.
After listening to this officer, two pieces of advice seemed useful to pass along. First, please call the police with anything you might see that’s suspicious. Don’t decide it’s “not worth it” because you just never know. Second, identify who you are and your location. This makes it easier for police to respond or investigate things.
These police want to help. While they are short-handed, they generally patrol the main arteries through Montclair. If someone is snooping around or trying to steal something, the thinking goes that perps will eventually exit down canyon roads like Broadway, Thornhill, Shepherd, Ascot, etc. (They also patrol based on recommendations from our local North Hills and Montclair neighborhood councils.)
When you have heard noises or spotted a stranger around, no one will accuse you of paranoia for calling the cops. You may not get instant follow-up, but it still helps to call and fully identify yourself and location – as this improves the chances that your place or block will get checked out. What’s the downside, really?