There's a clear trend. Every knock on a door and every stranger in the Oakland Hills and Piedmont is now being viewed with suspicion and fear by residents. With the increase of daylight break-ins, that's easy to understand
Marianne Poppas has lived in Piedmont for the past 40 years. She says someone recently broke into her downstairs bedroom while she was upstairs on the phone. "The door was open. It was split down the side and the TV was missing," she recalled. She's just one of dozens of home burglary victims in the communities of Piedmont and Montclair. She says her small Dracena Park neighborhood continues to see an increase in home burglaries.
Six cars have been stolen in the small and affluent community of 10,000 residents so far this year. Alarm signs have sprouted up in peoples' yards like saplings in an attempt to ward off burglars. Piedmont Police Chief Nikki Gode says property crimes in the hills come in waves. "I think were up about 25 percent in property crimes from the same time last year. However, we're down 13 percent from the last three months of 2012," she said.
The nearby Oakland Hills community of Montclair has also been hard hit. Two of Christie MacDonalds' neighbors have had their homes broken into. "This house right here was broken into. They kicked in the front door in the middle of the day," she told ABC7 News. Four cars have been stolen in Montclair so far this year.
People in these small communities are doing what they can to stay safe. In Montclair, thefts have given birth to a strong Neighborhood Watch and residents are looking at funding to install cameras throughout the Montclair Village area.