On Friday, the Cambridge police department moved out of its 75 year old Central Square headquarters, heading for a new facility in East Cambridge.  In an unrelated incident on the same day, about two blocks away, somebody not very gently removed the lock on the door of limeduck world headquarters and availed himself of assorted valuables. Don’t worry, the art collection, vintage scrabble set, and Bordeaux are all intact.

I don’t for a minute assign the Cambridge PD any negligence around this burglary, and both the officer and the detective were prompt, compassionate and professional despite the disruption going on in their office, doing what little can be done after the fact of a break-in. My neighbors, on the other hand, who probably buzzed the burglar in without asking questions, are totally off my holiday card list.

I have to wonder if this doesn’t signal a downturn in the fortunes of Central Square, long among the least desirable of Cambridge’s major named squares, often fighting a reputation for grittiness.  Whenever somebody expressed any reservation about visiting me in Central, I would always say, “I’m two blocks from the police station.” Will tough economic times plus a reduction in the visible presence of the law turn Cronin Park into a shooting gallery?  It seems unlikely, but I’m going to be a little more vigilant, and I suppose you should be, too. You can see Cambridge crime reports on the CPD web site, although they don’t seem to be updated that quickly.  Here’s one for the Riverside area.

And if a shady character offers you a deal on a used brass rat, call the cops.