About 30 minutes ago I noticed there was a lot of helicopter noise above my house but didn't think too much of it as we are directly in the helicopter flight path for Children's Hospital. Except usually those flights aren't sustained over the course of 15 minutes. I tweeted that there was some unusual helicopter activity over our house, using all the appropriate hashtags, and then went outside to see what I could see. Sure enough, a black police copter was flying circles directly above my house and adjoining streets. I came back inside, locked the door, and jumped on Twitter to see what I could find out.
(Aside: I've found that Twitter is ALWAYS the best source of breaking news, especially for major happenings or local activity.)
It turns out that three suspects, thought to be responsible for an armed robbery earlier today, had fled the scene and driven to a house three blocks from me. They jumped out of their Mercedes and then proceeded to barricade themselves in a house. The SWAT team was on site dealing with the situation. After about thirty minutes the police were able to detain the suspects and recover one of the firearms.
During this time the OPD was sending out alerts to the local neighborhood watch folks updating them on the situation. Their advice? Lock your doors and don't go outside. Don't answer your door.
God I hate this neighborhood! How many of you can honestly say that you wouldn't feel the same way? I mean, this is the second time in four years the SWAT team has been hanging out here, trying to catch violent criminals. I definitely want to leave Oakland. Scratch that, I *need* to leave Oakland. I'm sick of seeing all these local blogs and national magazines talking about what an awesome city it is to live in. Yeah, for drug lords and gangbangers. Not so much for those that can't afford the nice houses in the fancy part of town.
Alas, Alan reminds me it's my fault we live here. We put a big old red x on the map over this area when we were house hunting. But I saw this house an fell in love. We'd sold our loft and had to find a place to live fast. I convinced him that everything would be okay. The neighborhood was fine. We'd be fine. And here I am nearly six years later on anti-anxiety meds because I'm convinced I'm going to get robbed at gunpoint. Yeah, it's all good in the hood.