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Temescal residents should lock their doors and close windows

on July 10, 2009

A die hard group of four met at First Presbyterian Church to keep the lights burning at the Temescal Neighborhood Crime Prevention Committee.
The first item up was the nuisance parking from 18 wheelers and recreational vehicles on 51st street.

Problem Solving Officer John Cunnie has patrolled the area and looked in windows and knocked on doors of vehicles to check for occupants sleeping on site, according to the committee coordinators.  Cunnie was not at the meeting.

Lee Edwards, one of two coordinators for the committee, asked if they could be tagged and towed anyway, even if they move further down the street.

“John says it’s legal [for them to park there],” said Paul Brekke-Miesnerthe Neighborhood Services Coordinator.

“No it’s not legal.  There were complaints that people were living in them,” said Edwards.

Brekke-Miesner said, “He knocked, no one answered.  He looked in the windows, no one was there.”

Edwards explained why he was being strict on the matter.

“It concerns me because the RVs that used to be parked under the freeway at 58th Street were housing criminals. They can’t be parked on 51st Street between freeway and Piedmont,”

Officer Cunnie will receive a request to continue patrolling the area.

A group of recyclers who came from outside Temescal and used to congregate on Opal Street in the lower 40s have not been seen lately, so the matter will be tabled.

However, one resident complained about scavengers who canvas along 49th Street Monday through Saturdays looking for recycling.  She said they increase in number on pick up days.

“We separate the recyclables from the garbage so they don’t go through our trash,” said Loretta O’Brien.

Brekke-Miesner recommended keeping trash and recyclables protected in the back yard behind the fence.  Get up early on pick up day and put out trash and recyclables 30 minutes before the truck is due to arrive.

He does this at home and hasn’t had a problem.

“We know some of those folks are trying to get by, but some of them are casing neighborhoods,” he said.

In the past month fifty crimes were committed in Temescal, a decrease from the previous month.   Personal violent crimes like assaults are down.  Over half were property crimes – 13 burglaries and 14 thefts. Seven of the burglaries were committed without forcible entry Oakland Police Department’s crime statistics.

“We have to get the word out.  Lock your house and close the window, even if it’s hot out,” said Lee.

Lee requested a walking officer to patrol Telegraph from 40th to 51st Street.

Brekke-Miesner will be walking the Telegraph beat twice next week in the late afternoon to remind residents to lock their doors and windows when they are gone.  He will be handing out fliers with helpful phone numbers.

Brekke-Miesner is also on the look out for people to participate in National Night Out and become neighborhood watch block captains.

“I can’t tell you the number of crimes we’ve solved and crimes we’ve prevented.  It really works.  It’s eyes and ears working smart with the police.  We bust people,” he said

Yesterday’s meeting was the last for secretary Susan McDonough and she was thanked for her years of service.

Edwards asked Brekke-Miesner to pass on his appreciation to the police chief.

“Thank him.  We’re very pleased crime is down in our neighborhood,” said Edwards.

“We know they had a lot do with that.  Let them know we’re very pleased with what’s happening in Oakland.  It’s contrary to what people said would happen with the recession.”

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