Palo Alto resident interrupts burglary

A Palo Alto man came home at 12:25 p.m. last Friday to find a pickup truck backed into his driveway. Taking a closer look, he saw it was loaded with his possessions, including a flat-screen TV and a computer, Police Agent Donna Arndt said.

The man removed the keys from the ignition of the truck and called police, who arrived within minutes, Arndt said.

But a careful search of the man's house in the 2500 block of Ross Road revealed that the burglar or burglars had fled. A search of the surrounding area wasn't successful.

The pickup truck also had items that turned out to be from other reported residential burglaries in Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

One recovered item was a Purple Heart medal from World War II inscribed to Patrick J. Monroe. Menlo Park Detective Jeff Keegan is trying to find the owner of the medal. Keegan can be reached at 650-330-6360.

Menlo Park and Palo Alto police are continuing their investigation of the burglaries and the recovered items.

View the press release

— Don Kazak


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 20, 2008 at 2:20 pm

It is scary to see just how blatant these robberies are becoming. It is very lucky for the homeowner that the thieves fled when they discovered that the keys of their truck were missing and the police had been called. I would imagine that if the thieves had been armed (or the homeowner) that there would have been a very difficult outcome and someone seriously hurt or killed.

We must stop this crime wave.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 20, 2008 at 4:20 pm

Police enforcement/presence is presumably key to getting the word out that Palo Alto is not "easy pickings"

Posted by GMC, a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2008 at 4:58 pm

I'm glad everything worked out, but I think we'll see more of this over the summer - its darn hot out and people are going to understandably be keeping their windows open. We should set up a phoney trap house to "catch a thief," then we can put it on Dateline.

Posted by Ada, a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Unbelievable! Not sure if he did the right thing pulling the keys out, probably he did, but I wonder how far they could have fled in a few minutes before police arrived. People, buy video surveillance cameras and install in inconspicuous places.

Posted by Sue, a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2008 at 8:49 am

Our house got burglarized on Monday during the day on Ross Road not far from the house reported in the news which started this thread. I have also just spoke to another family who got burglarized last Thursday somewhere near E. Meadow. So at least three instances within a week in probably less than 1 square mile area.

These burglars need to be caught soon.

Posted by Donnie, a resident of Southgate
on May 21, 2008 at 8:56 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Downtown Resident, a resident of Downtown North
on May 21, 2008 at 10:08 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by another unlucky victim, a resident of another community
on May 21, 2008 at 11:21 am

Even if they are caught, after few weeks in jail, they are set free.

Why is the punishment system NOT working?

If there is a punishment system, why are there more and more crimes committed?

Does that not mean more people who do not believe the system is strong enough to catch them, or punish them?

Criminal activities are out of control!

What are the plans? Make more jails? How much more effort is going to be put in the punishment system that does NOT work?

Someone, some where, some how should come up with a better system than this.

Where is the End?

An unlucky victim of a similar crime.

Posted by Chris, a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2008 at 12:04 pm

I really can't believe why the police wasted months on the children's theatre investigation and couldn't even come up with any concrete numbers, but tens of thousands of dollars are being stolen EVERY DAY!
And this is people's Post-tax dollars! not City funds that no one expected to see again anyways.
Why haven't the Police created a Sting operation??? I mean, It's HOUSES UNDER CONSTRUCTION THAT GET ROBBED! Just find a house that's under construction and put it under surveillance??????? come on!!!!!!!

Posted by Mike, a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2008 at 12:10 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by bandwagon, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Carrying out others' wares with Whole Foods Reusable bags.

Posted by Ronald L., a resident of Downtown North
on May 21, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Residents could buy camera systems for their walkways, driveways.
They have come down in price, and might change our reputation
as "easy pickings".

Posted by It's the Meth, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm

A big uptick in home burgs is aligned w/the increase of meth use. Police have talked about this for awhile. Ha, if the truck wasn't stolen & was in decent condition, it may be worth more than the stolen goods & now the cops have it. If it's not worth much, as least it's evidence & I bet they're working on the plate, the VIN, maybe even DNA.

Posted by fred, a resident of Downtown North
on May 21, 2008 at 4:31 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Frank, a resident of Barron Park
on May 21, 2008 at 5:56 pm


Have you counted how many houses are under construction?

Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 21, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Another unlucky victim: You are right, even if these guys are caught, they are given a slap on the wrist and put on probation. This is not the fault of the police, but the voters of California who will not pay to build more jails.

We may be the victims in these crimes but we are also the ones who will not give the Gov the money to build the prisons. Expect more home invasions.

Posted by another unlucky victim, a resident of another community
on May 22, 2008 at 9:21 am

Dear "Neighbor",

I am sorry if I were not clear.

To me a punishment system should be enough to deter criminals.

Our punishment system is a hotel that no one seems to mind getting booked in.

In my humble opinion, more and more jails are not the answer.

The solution should be more basic than middle class hard working people paying their hard earned cash for the prison/hotel lodging of a bunch of criminals.

To me, paying more taxes not to get burgularized, seems like paying the mob, not to get hit by them.

I think we should look for a basic but more effective punishment system.

Maybe make the prisoners work, instead of sending jobs to third world countries ...?!

I am sure there must be a better way than letting them live freely with no responsibilities in hotel county.

Posted by Free, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 23, 2008 at 7:40 am

The US has the toughest, meanest, most violent prisons among all western societies. Yet we are still the most crime ridden, most violent country in the industrial world. Obviously, more jails is not the answer. A less corporatist, less materialistic, less greedy society which provides universal health care and free education to all would go a long way towards solving our social problems. The best way to start the long process of repairing and healing our society is to never vote for a Republican at any level. In the meantime, get a large dog and train it to attack home intruders.

Posted by Detest Crime, a resident of Southgate
on May 23, 2008 at 8:59 am

??? A less corporatist, less materialistic, less greedy society which provides universal health care and free education to all would go a long way towards solving our social problems.

What does that have to do with crime?

Poor people like me abhor crime, my family's health care does not cause me to go steal your purse. What kind of zero education non-sense are you blabbing about?

Posted by Chris, a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 23, 2008 at 10:07 am

Only a small % of people steal, so I don't think anyone is generalizing to "all poor people steal".

There are enough examples of rich people stealing too -- they just do it more in the corporate world (Enron, subprime loans?), vs. breaking into people's homes.

Posted by Bang, a resident of Midtown
on May 23, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Guns work to deter crime.

Arm yourself and prepare to protect.

Posted by abe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 23, 2008 at 1:42 pm

"Detest crime", so you never heard of the connection between chronic poverty, slums and poor or lack of education and crime, you moron?

The Bush Regime's inability to pay the bills it is piling up for Americans means that future US governments will cut promised benefits and further impoverish the people. Over a year ago The Nation reported that the Bush Regime is shedding veteran costs by attributing consequences of serious war wounds to "personality disorders" in order to deny soldiers promised benefits.

Previous presidents reduced promised Social Security benefits by taxing the benefits (a tax on a tax) and by rigging the cost of living adjustment to understate inflation. Future presidents will have to seize private pensions in order to make minimal Social Security payments.

Currently the desperate Bush Regime is trying to cut Medicaid health care for the poor and disabled.

The Republican Party is willing to fund war, but sees everything else as an extravagance. The neoconized war party is destroying the economic prospects of American citizens. "war abroad and poverty at home" will the Republican campaign slogan for the November election?

How do suppose this will effect crime in the US you stupid asshole?

Posted by c. attucks, a resident of Midtown
on May 23, 2008 at 3:35 pm

it seems ''americans'' dont really know each other.we relate to people like commodities,yes even members of the same family,not to mention ''others''.you give all your power to ''police'' and politicians.YOU are a unversal cop or anyone can define what you or anyone else is.but really,its about responsibility.when you spray chemicals in the air and people get sick,thats YOUR responsibility to stop it ,or speak up and make it stop.not call police or rely on politicians to DO everthing for have to graduate from diapers,''america'',take responsibility not rely on paid police to define your life or any ''minorities'' life.''america is now like a mercurial state.therefore ,ghanging on to the war ,crime, police view is draining and wont serve your life or any life

If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

The dress code
By Jessica T | 21 comments | 1,931 views

September food and drink goings on
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 1,352 views

. . . People will never forget how you made them feel.
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,275 views

Two Days to Save This Dog?
By Cathy Kirkman | 15 comments | 1,253 views

It Depends... Disguising Real Characters in Fiction
By Nick Taylor | 0 comments | 407 views