I’d be safe and warm (I’d be safe and warm)
If I was in L.A. (If I was in L.A.)
California dreamin’ (California dreamin’)
On such a winter’s day
Caravans of burglars overwhelmed Oakland’s cannabis businesses in 2020: Early in the morning on Nov. 4, Lavell Russell received a phone call from a friend who told him that his cannabis shop, Only Good Weed, had been “trashed and robbed.” Russell drove to the store, a small commercial building on the corner of High Street and Fairfax Avenue in East Oakland, and found the area had become a crime scene. Someone had rammed an SUV into the front of the building, destroying a metal security gate and smashing a hole in the entranceway.
A witness reported to OPD that 10 people broke in. Russell said products, electronics, and cash were stolen from his business, which he co-owns with 14 others.
“It’s sickening,” he said in a recent interview. “You work so hard to get to a place where you can open the doors. And overnight it’s taken from you.”
Earlier on the same night, security guard Mathew Tippetts was sitting in his vehicle in the parking lot of Harborside, a cannabis dispensary located on Embarcadero at 16th Avenue, when suddenly, dozens of people, some wearing ski masks and carrying bags, jumped out of cars parked nearby. As the crowd rushed the building and attempted to break in, all Tippetts could do was block the front entrance with his vehicle and call 911.
“It was just overwhelming numbers and vehicles,” Tippetts said. “I wasn’t going to try to be Superman and stop everything. You don’t know how many of them are armed.”
Time for a remake of “California Dreamin’.” Since one can no longer be “safe and warm in L.A.,” maybe something like this would be more accurate…