HELP FOR BURGLARS?: At first, it seemed like just another all-too-routine item for the police blotter.
An Antioch resident summoned police earlier this month after spotting an intruder in his neighbor's backyard.
The 911 call brought nearly every patrol unit in the city as well as a helicopter to the southeast Antioch neighborhood, where a foot chase ensued as two suspected burglars jumped over side gates and scaled backyard fences in an effort to escape.
Officers caught up with 19-year-old Edward Williams, of Antioch, and arrested him on suspicion of two counts of burglary after discovering stolen items belonging to a second victim in the car he had been driving.
So far, so good.
But here's where the heist went very, very wrong.
A resident on Spur Way returned home to discover Williams' accomplice in his backyard and reportedly took compassion on the young stranger: When the suspect asked him for a ride, the man complied, dropping off the suspect near one of the cemeteries on East 18th Street.
The Eye finds the bizarre good Samaritan gesture even more ironic, considering area residents recently established a Neighborhood Watch group.
Apparently, this resident didn't get the memo: The idea is to stop the bad guys, not help them get away.
Describing the would-be do-gooder as "very naive," Lt. Tammany Brooks said anyone inclined to reach out to a criminal on
the lam should pick up the phone instead.
"Consider giving them help by contacting the police," he said.
Meanwhile, police were following up on leads to nab the man.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY: The Eye receives hundreds of emails and news releases a week. Many of them are quickly spotted as junk and deleted.
One received Monday from the U.S. District Attorney's Office, especially the timing, made the Eye do a quick double take and some critical thinking.
The release said a Pittsburg mother and son "pleaded guilty last week to conspiring to file false tax returns." With that, the Eye wondered why the media were informed of the court action Monday. Likely it was just coincidence -- or the courts wanted them to enjoy Mother's Day without any scrutiny.
Turns out, it was just coincidence.
Josh Eaton, a spokesman for the District Attorney's Office, said it has an internal drafting and review process that most regularly is the cause of any delay.
"It is, unfortunately, not too rare for a release to be issued a day or two after a newsworthy event takes place," he said. "We do our best to avoid these delays for obvious reasons. However, resources do not always allow us to issue a release on the day an event occurs."
A grown-up kid?: Concord City Councilwoman Laura Hoffmeister could be flying high if her offer to test the new zip line at KidFest is accepted. The 24th annual festival, held at Mt. Diablo High School in Concord over Memorial Day weekend, attracts thousands of visitors from across the region. An added attraction this year is a zip line, which must be tested before officially opening to the public. And Hoffmeister has raised her hand to volunteer. Who has the video camera? Read on ...
Failure is not an option: In our tech-driven world, a glitch sometimes can throw things into chaos. But not for Doug Bigham, who was recording the regular Concord City Council meeting Tuesday. When the connection between the control board and cameras in the council chamber failed shortly before the meeting started, Bigham jumped into action. The city's video services coordinator brought out the video camera and tripod, then finished recording the meeting.
A mother's love: At that same meeting, Concord Mayor Dan Helix took a moment to praise the Mother's Day event at Todos Santos Plaza. "I thought it was so great that the students wrote letters of commendation about their mothers," he said.
One of the winning essays read, "My mom can burp really loud and say 'ouch' at the same time." Commendable -- but the letter did finish with a flourish. "She works hard at work and comes home and takes care of us. She will do anything for our family. I love her." Awwww ...
Staff writers Rowena Coetsee, Paul Burgarino and Paula King and Correspondent Dana Guzzetti contributed to this report.