by Anneli Rufus
Robbing commercial enterprises is a kaleidoscopic career track with many fascinating options.
Milpitas has yielded several examples lately, as reported in the Milpitas Post: A man shoplifted shoes and a hat from Wal-Mart on January10. Someone smashed Golden Milpitas Optometry's front window on January 4 and made off with three cases - $12,000 worth - of sunglasses. Burglars used a power saw to bisect La Sierra Mexican Restaurant's back door on January 14. That same day, two armed robbers hit 7-Eleven. Police responding to a burglar alarm at Round Table Pizza on January 12 arrived just in time to see someone fleeing and find padlocks cut. Also that day, a Mervyn's clerk was arrested for allegedly duplicating customer return slips and pocketing the extras, thereby stealing $424.
Returns reaped more mayhem at a Pleasant Hill store where, according to the police log, "a customer tried to return an item with a fake UPC bar code indicating the item was worth more than the actual purchase price" on January 16. A Walnut Creek store became $2,200 poorer on January 8 when, according to the log, a man and woman "grabbed ten white coats" before fleeing in a blue getaway car. Toilet paper was reported shoplifted on January 3 at another Walnut Creek store. (Insert your fave "WC" joke here.) Someone "spent" $160 in counterfeit $20 bills at Walnut Creek's WPLJ's nightclub on January 6. A January 19 lock-pry attempt at El Cerrito's Clean-X-Press proved unsuccessful. Was the target cash, strangers' suits, or ... couldn't some customer wait for his dry-cleaning to be delivered?