When a Piedmont police officer spotted a car being driven with no headlights and a flat tire at about 4 a.m. on July 15, his suspicions were aroused. He pulled the car over, on Park Boulevard near Leimert Boulevard, and checked the license plate number against the data bank of stolen vehicles — and yes, it had been reported stolen three days before. And it appeared the ignition had been tampered with.
Although the driver protested that she had purchased the car a month earlier, she was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, according to Detective George Phifer of the Piedmont Police Department. She was identified as Melissa Martinez, 19, of Oakland and booked into Santa Rita Rita County Jail.
MONDAY, JULY 9
Sick squirrel — A caller reported seeing a squirrel that appeared ill at 1:11 p.m. in the 100 block of Arbor Drive.
Cat in a tree — In Emeryville, which shares its animal control officers with Piedmont, a caller reported that a cat had been stuck in a tree for 24 hours. The Emeryville Fire Department responded, along with animal control. The outcome isn't clear, as the animal control officer reported being able to hear, but not see, the cat.
Pop-pop-pop — A caller in the 1100 block of Harvard Road reported hearing popping noises on the right side of her house at 4:50 p.m. Police were unavailable to determine the source of the sound.
After hours — A caller in the 100 block of Lake Avenue complained at 6:16 p.m. that construction work was still going on nearby, after Piedmont's cut-off time of 6 p.m. for such work. Police advised the workers, who were wrapping up for the day, of the city-mandated hours.
Turkey hen and chicks — A caller in the 100 block of Lexford Road reported at 6:37 p.m. that a wild turkey and her small chicks had been separated from one another. She called back a few minutes later to to report that mom and babies were now together again.
TUESDAY, JULY 10
Trapped deer — A deer was caught in a fence on Glen Alpine Road about 5:30 a.m. but got free.
Wire down — A cable line came down in the 300 block of Wildwood Avenue about 1:45 p.m. The Piedmont Fire Department responded.
RIP — An animal control officer picked up a defunct skunk on Requa Place about 5:30 p.m.
Theft — A FedEx package containing an iPod disappeared from outside a home in the first block of Lake Avenue before the residents were able to collect it.
Water, water — A resident of the 100 block of Moraga Avenue reported about 11:15 p.m. that a neighbor to the rear had a broken water pipe that was gushing water. A police officer turned off the faucet to the forgotten garden hose.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11
Thefts — A caller from the first block of Cambridge Way reported at 8:46 a.m. that change was taken from her unlocked vehicle. A few minutes later, a resident of the 100 block of Woodland Way reported a stolen garbage can and asked for additional police patrol of the neighborhood.
No assault — A report of an assault on Magnolia Avenue the previous day was determined by police to be unfounded.
THURSDAY, JULY 12
Petty theft — A caller from the first block of Lake Avenue advised police that someone had rummaged through his unlocked vehicle during the previous two or three days and taken loose change. He didn't want to make a formal police report.
Weapons destruction — Two Piedmont residents separately turned over guns to the APD for destruction.
Suspicious walker — A resident of the 300 block of St. James Drive reported that a man wearing a plaid shirt and walking toward a dead end said hello as he passed by. She felt this was suspicious.
Fireworks — A group of apparently unsupervised kids set off fireworks in Dracena Park about 11:45 p.m., a caller reported. The youngsters then ran into a home on Dracena Avenue, where an adult party was going on.
FRIDAY, JULY 13
Deceased deer — A resident of the 300 block of Hampton Road reported finding a dead deer in his driveway about 7:30 a.m. An animal control officer picked up the deer shortly after she came on duty at 10 a.m. She also picked up a deceased squirrel a few minutes later.
Egged — Sierra Avenue residents reported that their house was "egged" the previous night Patrol officers will keep an eye on the area in hopes of preventing future vandalism.
Hazardous waste — Public Works was notified to clean up spilled insecticide in the 1200 block of Grand Avenue.
Pouched intruder — Down in Emeryville, Piedmont's shared animal control officer was called upon to remove an opossum from a warehouse in the early afternoon.
Rabbit run — A caller advised police that a dark gray rabbit ran onto the Linda Beach Elementary School campus in the late afternoon. A gray rabbit — possibly the same one — was spotted "running loose" near Lake and Linda avenues about two hours later.
SATURDAY, JULY 14
Stolen bicycle — A bicycle was stolen from a garage in the 800 block of Blair Avenue sometime between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., it was reported at 7:42 a.m.
Stolen vehicle — A Toyota RAV4 was reported stolen from the first block of Sea View Avenue at 12:26 p.m. The theft occurred sometime between the previous Thursday night and the morning of the 14th.
SUNDAY, JULY 15
Thefts from vehicles — A thief targeted vehicles belonging to two neighbors in the first block of Dudley Avenue, taking a radio faceplate from one vehicle and $20, a running jacket and a T-ball stand from the other. Police said it appears both vehicles were unlocked.
Burglary attempt — Someone left pry marks on downstairs windows of a home in the 1300 block of Oakland Avenue but did not gain entry to the house, police said.
Pelican passed away — Down in Emeryville again, an animal control officer picked up a deceased pelican.
Porta-Potty crash — A Caperton Avenue resident reported at 2:20 p.m. that people in a gold SUV had knocked down her Porta-Potty.
Stolen bike — A resident of the 500 block of Blair Avenue reported that a bike was stolen from his garage the previous day.
MONDAY, JULY 16
Stolen equipment — A Winsor Avenue resident reported audio equipment stolen from the back of a truck.