It's been a rough week on Myrtle Street since Crime Scene Cleaners, Inc., owned by Neal Smither and based in Orinda, moved onto our block. Neal Smither, according to the Chronicle, owns a million-dollar house near the Round Hill Country Club in Alamo, so we are guessing he has no plans to relocate to West Oakland.
Our neighbors went over to Crime Scene Cleaners to introduce themselves and were immediately faced with threats and shouting. Residents, apparently, are not allowed on the sidewalk in front of Crime Scene Cleaners or they will get a restraining order and it will take Mr. Smither "about twenty minutes" to arrange that. (We have this on tape if you don't believe me.) Crime Scene Cleaners are "in tight" with the police, and they say that means they can do what they like in this neighborhood.
Why the company feels it's ok to come into West Oakland and treat people that way is a question we will answer, and hopefully put an end to their actions.