by Anneli Rufus
It's a northernmost-Oakland crime wave: six muggings, three burglaries, and five smashed windows in six weeks, some within feet of the socially conscious, keenly green Nomad Cafe. "The good news is: There is no indication whatsoever that either the Nomad or I myself are being targeted," owner Christopher Waters told Apprehension on December 30. The cafe was burglarized two days later.
Caught on video, the perp wore "the standard-issue long white thug T-shirt," Waters reports, "and a light or white winter beanie," with a light mustache "just covering the incisis fossa, almost like a Hitler mustache."
Around 7 a.m. on New Year's Day, "I called OPD emergency dispatch to confirm that the cafe had been broken into. ... The dispatcher kindly and regretfully informed me that the response time would be slow due to several murders and shootings that were in the queue." Waters says that, what with several stickups at Pizza Plaza and Jump'n Java, local business owners "are all wondering if and when the time is going to come that we decide we have to leave this town behind, before it makes Republicans out of us."
He theorizes that the area's being hit because, "finally succumbing to community and police pressure, the Uptown Market at Aileen and Shattuck finally installed eight security cameras and began actively dissuading their resident thugs from loitering and plying their drug trade there. This has made the usual suspects feel unwelcome and they have begun migrating back up toward, and above, Alcatraz. It's a shame that the best we have been able to do so far is continue kicking these people back up and down Shattuck Avenue."
Neighborhood wit Deborah Mikuteit proposes posting a sign on local telephone poles that reads:
"Warning! ... In this community live several middle-aged menopausal women who suffer insomnia at night. ... we sleep so lightly that we bolt awake at the sound of a shim delicately being placed into a car door to gain criminal entry. When we can't sleep we have a habit of drinking herbal tea and looking out our front windows toward the street below. Age has made us more farsighted so that we can more clearly see figures scuttling around in the dark who have no business being there. ...
"We sit at home all day looking out the front window and use one-touch dialing to OPD. ... We have a phone tree set up so that we can advise each other whose sprinklers need to be turned on because there is someone in their front yard, or who needs to run out with a shotgun because someone has jumped a fence into their backyard. Don't gaze too long upon our cute elf statue in the front garden: it has a surveillance camera inside and we can provide police with all data therefrom.
"If you have driven into our street to commit a crime, we have Myrna and Ethel, retired busybodies with nothing to do all day but fight crime, each possessed of a long jalopy, who are skilled at parking these extremely heavy trash cars sideways to as to lock you into our narrow street and force you to flee on foot. You may get away with a stolen radio or spare change from the glove compartment, but then we get to keep your car, whose rims we will for sure sell at the Ashby Flea Market, where we will no doubt find you selling our radio. ( If you give us our radio back, we won't give you your rims back.)
"After we have communally ritually taken sledgehammers to your boombox, the rest of your car we will dismantle and donate its parts to Toys for Precocious Tots. The empty carcass of the vehicle we will leave sitting on jackstands in the street with a sign on it, saying, 'He stole a radio and 7 menopausal, arthritic women stripped down his tricked-out Mustang.'"