Palo Alto police are accustomed to calls about thefts and fights, even bizarre deaths, but dispatchers are rarely called with news about recently completed home repairs.
Yet that's exactly what happened Tuesday evening, when a Community Center family made an emergency call. On the police blotter, the report is cryptic: "Unknown suspects entered home and fixed plumbing," it says, classified as a "Suspicious Circumstance."
Suspecting a typo, the Weekly called Acting Lt. Sandra Brown, who attributed the incident to miscommunication between the property owners and tenants, who reported the illicit repair job.
The man who made the call believed the three Hispanic workers had been checking out his house for a future burglary.
"He said they only repaired the plumbing, showed him the damaged parts and left. They did not act suspicious or walk anywhere else in the apartment," Brown wrote in an e-mail.
"I find it hard to believe that crooks are getting that desperate that they complete plumbing repairs in an attempt to case houses," she said.
A call to the residence in the 800 block of Channing Avenue wasn't immediately returned.