A 1950s-era bronze plaque marking the historic significance of Don Joaquin Moraga's landmark adobe is missing, as metal thievery continues to plague Lamorinda.
In recent months, graveyard desecrators have stolen monuments to our war dead and grave markers, and thieves have taken the copper wire out of the refrigeration units of our schools.
Friends of the pre-Gold Rush adobe discovered that the plaque was gone during a recent inspection. The group is carrying on negotiations with the property's current owner and the cities of Orinda and Moraga in hope of preserving some of the land around the historic structure.
Elsie Mastick, a member of the group attempting to save the adobe, said a wax cast of the plaque is in the possession of the Moraga Historical Society and a new marker could be cast - at a cost currently unknown.
Recent metal thefts have included Spanish-American war cannon from a local cemetery, a bronze tablet honoring Concord's Vietnam war dead, and copper wire from schools and apartment houses in the area. Most of the pilfered metal - if not all - is ending up at local recycling centers and in smelters.