News


Burglars hit two homes, steal firearms, property

Palo Alto burglaries less than 24 hours apart

In two separate incidents less than 24 hours apart, burglars made off with an estimated $24,000 in property, including three firearms, Palo Alto police said.

A home in the 4200 block of Briarwood Way, near San Antonio Avenue, was robbed Wednesday, March 14, after a thief or thieves entered through an unlocked rear door, Agent Marianna Villaescusa said. An estimated $14,000 in electronics, cash and jewelry were stolen. The crime was reported at 6:59 p.m.

A second burglary occurred Thursday, March 15, in the 400 block of Marion Avenue, between Cowper and Waverley streets and south of Oregon Expressway. The crime was reported at 4:23 p.m. Burglar or burglars forced open a side window and stole three firearms, jewelry, a television and other items, valued at an estimated $11,000, Villaescusa said.

Palo Alto police said they want to remind residents to report all suspicious persons and activity immediately by calling 911 or 650-329-2413, and to trust their gut feelings.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kevin Raposo
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Mar 16, 2012 at 1:25 pm

It seems in the first case the homeowner forgot to lock their door which is the first cardinal sin in home security. The second incident was done by forced entry which is the most common method of burglary. I always suggest a good home security system.

I just recently wrote an article that provides some great tips for protecting your family, and home security.

Burglar Reveals The 4 Tips for Home Protection
Web Link

Feel free to re-post or share!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by guns
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Why weren't the guns locked up inside the house? Isn't that required by law?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Phil
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm

There is no law no requiring a gun owner to lock their firearms inside their home. It is certainly recommended, even if it's a trigger guard to safeguard the firearm from children. Crimes like these have been and always will be a constant. Neighbors have to remain vigilant and report any suspicious people or cars. This has led to several publicized arrests in Palo Alto over the past year.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Great!
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 17, 2012 at 8:27 am

Now we have happily armed thugs ready to burgle and terrorize. Ridiculous and scary.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2012 at 10:25 am

Three more illegal guns on the streets. Time to tighten up gun control.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 17, 2012 at 11:37 am

It proves for the billionth time that the 2nd Amendment, assuming the Framers actually meant to grant everybody the right to bear arms(which is not that clear from the language they used) was the absolute worst mistake of those otherwise great men.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by guns
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2012 at 1:06 pm

What kind of guns were stolen? Pistols? Assault rifles? The community has a right to know.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gun Owner
a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I used to live in Palo Alto, now I live in America. I carry my gun with me at all times, by law, with a permit for conceal carry. No need to worry about it getting stolen, no one knows I have a gun, but in a situation where I'll need it, I have it.

The previous poster mentions assault rifles, which is a made up term used by anti gun legislators and California. No one in california can own a fully automatic military fire arm legally. In states where you can, they are all pre-1986, due to machine gun legislation (written by a republican president interestingly enough) so supply and demand puts the cost in the 10s or thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to legally acquire a fully automatic firearm AKA an assault rifle.

I respect our and in this case you 1st amendment right, hopefully one day you'll respect my 2nd.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm

@ Resident:

Those were not "illegal guns" UNTIL a pathetic thug stole them from someone's home. Until then, they belonged to someone who could have used them for hunting, protection or even for the line of duty as a law enforcement officer.

The founders of this country had it right. Outstanding citizens can be trusted to own and operate guns safely and securely.

Unfortunately, this nation has an increasing number of thugs and monsters who are being pampered by some in society as they go about their lives of theft and violence.

When I sat in on a few meetings (during college), I noticed that some of these men literally LAUGH at the attempts of honest citizens who try to set them on the "straight and narrow."

I feel for those who had their sense of security violated by a thug who prefers stealing over an honest day of work. I hope that they find these crooks (as well as the things that were stolen) and prosecute these thugs to the fullest extent of the law.

Somehow, we need to introduce a sense of "shame" for perpetual thugs like this. We force sex offenders to register for life. Why can't we point out those who are on probation for major theft and violence too?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2012 at 3:47 am

Nayeli

I have said before many times that the majority of illegal guns being used for crime start off as legally held guns. This is exactly how a legal gun becomes an illegal gun. The legally held gun did nothing to prevent its own theft or provide security to its owners. It was just a target for a thief who may or may not have known that it existed.

It is time to prevent thefts of legal guns by restricting their ownership.

Gun Owner

I don't see how a legally carried weapon can protect you when you are held up at gun point? You are more likely to be shot before you could use it to protect yourself in the best scenario and a shoot out on the street killing an innocent bystander or someone in the safety of their home. Do you really think that wild west days are still what civilized society wants and deserves?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gun Owner
a resident of another community
on Mar 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm

My point exactly, its not up to you to decide. Its my constitutional right. Although, as long as we are on the topic of constitutional rights, I cannot tell you to stop talking, I can merely politely disagree with you and your opinion. This seems civil right?

To answer your question though, it is called scene awareness, something you have to practice while carrying a firearm. A firearm does not grant me access to anywhere I would not have gone without a firearm. I am not law enforcement, I am an average citizen. I do not go to the bad part of town, because I have a gun. I hope to never use it, but through training, proficiency, as well as awareness, I have a better chance, then lets say, you?

In terms of being drawn upon? I might get struck, but I'd rather bring my attacker down, or at least have a fighting chance. That is just my personality, and who I am. I'd rather not cower, and let someone take my civil and human rights away.

The best part about the 2nd amendment? and concealed carry? I am a nice, well educated, employed, contributor to society. If we met at a coffee shop, you would probably have a conversation with me, you might even like me. All the while, your not judging me, because you won't know if I am carrying. In the end, using that example as representation of 99.9% of firearm owners, and conceal carry permit holders, don't you feel kind of silly?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Two cents
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Just spoke with a contact I have at the police department and asked him about the recent crimes like this. He said they are doing the best they can and have even assigned an officer each day to do burglary suppression. But, he said, there is no way there are going to be able to stop any of it because their staffing is a joke. He said they are something like 10 people short in their uniformed patrol group and their bosses just froze 6 positions meaning they aren't even going to hire enough officers to get up to full staffing. The bosses are planning to hire 4 but 2 they will all have to go through training and some won't pass.

I asked him about canines and special task forces that could help and he laughed. He said they have no task forces and the same bosses are planning on cutting one of their canine officers. He said their poor staffing is making the officers have to work tons of overtime which is killing morale. I asked him if these "bosses" were the same ones making the big dollars on the latest salary report and he said "What do you think?"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Curious
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm

I just checked with my source in the department and learned the truth which is they are 14 positions down and 4 of those positions were frozen by the City Managers office not the PD!

You should get a better source or stop spewing garbage.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Two cents
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 18, 2012 at 10:50 pm

"Curious", I can only you what was said. If you are right I guess we'll be seeing ten new officers soon. Can you let us all know when those new officers are actually out on the street and stopping crime?

I have a feeling the truth probably lies in the middle and the police department will remain low staffed so they can say they are saving money. Meanwhile the citizens will continue to have their homes broken into while the police department is understaffed.

Anybody know if neighboring police departments are understaffed?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by downtown
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 19, 2012 at 7:15 am

...but the City Manager got a huge raise while forcing the labor groups to take wage reductions and freezing positions!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by calling on the mayor
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 19, 2012 at 8:06 am

As a palo alto tax payer, I urge the Palo Alto Weekly to do an investigative report on the salaries of our public servants including the police. Also, to our newly elected mayor: are we sacrificing the safety of our community in order to pay outrageous amount of money in overtime and pension benefits?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hey Two Cents
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 19, 2012 at 9:17 am

Considering it takes almost a year to hire someone, send them to the academy, and provide them with field training, you are right you wont see them for a year or more. First the City will have to find 10 people willing to come here with the reductions in pay, health care, and retirement who can qualify without extensive criminal history, drug use or being fired from twelve other jobs.

It will likely take years to catch up from all those that chose to leave when the city placed the cuts across all departments without paying attention to what it was going to do to the police. short term gain, long term pain.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Other Cities
a resident of another community
on Mar 19, 2012 at 9:20 am

The answer is other police departments aren't suffering the vancancies because whatever freezes or cuts they had to take weren't engeneered to create an incentive to leave. Palo Alto financially forced people out with their cuts and its not done.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2012 at 9:37 am

It would make a lot more sense to me if police departments were county run with localized police buildings in each city. It would mean less administrative costs and make individual officers able to specialize in certain cities, but specialist fields could be shared also and at times of need in one area, flexibility and overlap would make it easier to coordinate man power.

It amazes me how many different emergency services departments we have city by city, and how much more efficient it would be if these could be centrally run by county, if not region.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sheriff
a resident of another community
on Mar 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I think you mean a Sheriff's department.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm

@ Resident:

It doesn't matter that it was "legal" before it was stolen. A car is "legal" before it is stolen too. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't trust good citizens to own such things.

The founding fathers trusted good people. Unfortunately, there is a growing segment of criminally prone individuals who want to take from us.

However, the same people who complain about the loss of "rights" and "privacy" in our attempt to embrace "personal liberty" and "freedom" in this country are often the same ones who want to pass laws to ban certain rights to bear arms.

Yes, we should make an effort to keep guns away from thugs and their thievery. However, this isn't always possible when you have individuals who couldn't care less when it comes to what belongs to others.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm

@ Resident:

Yes, you can "restrict their ownership" -- but from the CRIMINALS. I am an outstanding citizen and can be trusted with a firearm. It is my constitutional right.

However, if a person is NOT an outstanding citizen (criminals, gang members, high school dropouts, non-residents, etc...), they should NOT be permitted to bear arms.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by to ui
a resident of Southgate
on Mar 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm

nayelli doesent realize that police tell lies about citizens usually because of race. so you cannot complain about criminals when you have armed criminal police running your country.people have proof through police records that someone was indeed stopped and searched with NO WARRANT. that is illegal!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm

@ ui:

So, the police are the villains in your mind?

I wonder if you can provide 100 examples. After all, if the police are as "criminal" as you pretend, then there must be millions of examples.

Of course, I disagree with your stereotype of police.

Your stereotype of police officers as "criminal" is as incorrect and ill-constructed as stereotypes about racial minorities. For every example of a bad cop, I imagine that there are thousands of outstanding public servants.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by baddd
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm

a cop isnt just someone who is a bad apple. a cop has deadly force responsibilities. if you as a person must be perfect and not break laws ,then certainly an armed cop must be perfect. no excuses. perfect. a hblack man has to perfect or he is arrested or worse. but any cop is given a free pass because of patriatchal bias of modern world. but no one expeects nayelli types to be perfect. perhaps they will never be.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 19, 2012 at 10:03 pm

The "constitutional rights" argument always amazes me. Those were different times and different needs. We only need to compare ourselves to other civilized nations in the current day to recognize something is terribly wrong -- the proportion of gun-related deaths in this country relative to others is shameful. I'm sure the solutions are complicated, but lots of people walking around with concealed weapons hardly seems like a solution (the old saying "those who live by the sword, die by the sword" comes to mind). Our current system of strong, rich lobbyists carrying so much weight, combined with seeking-re-election-at-any-cost politicians make it difficult to seek solutions that are reasonable/workable, whether the issue is gun safety, banking practices, government pensions or anything else. We seem to be beyond reason in our current policy-making efforts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gun Owner
a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2012 at 1:29 am

Here is the problem, it is a relevant issue like you mentioned, but for different reasons. Law abiding citizens do not cause problems. More children die in their car seats in car accidents each year, then accidentally with law abiding citizen's firearms. The first world, and some parts of America (we are close behind) have this mentality that we can defeat accidents, and make the world a big old marshmallow of safety. The fact is, personal responsibility, and the "realities" of life, dictate that citizens need a means of defense. Your substandard Palo Alto police force (down 10 officers?) has no constitutional right to protect you. Did you know that? You could call them and there is nothing you can do if they say "mehh, I don't feel like going". The right to protect yourself is guaranteed. Want to know where the laws regarding retreating, and using self defense as a last resort come from? England, in the time of kings! Where the King judged men, and men were not able to interpret the law. If your unwanted in my home, at 2 in the morning, I think I should be able to stand my ground, instead of cowering, hoping you don't come hurt me or my family.

Give away firearms, and you are on a slippery slope to give away other rights. The same could be said about giving away our 1st, which we have, and has lead to us losing our 2nd, and other amendments. If you want to be a sheep, and let someone tell you how to live, so be it. (this seems to be a city slicker bay area mentality) The rest of America doesn't live that way, I was in shock and awe at how many "freedoms" I had, when I left california. I never truly knew what it was to be "free", and I suppose the same can be said about you.

Lobyist are a disease, but until people stop tearing away at my rights, I'm an NRA member.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by concerned
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:21 am

From a Univ of Michigan medical site:
Web Link

Stats on young people and firearm deaths and injuries:

"The 2002 edition of Injury Facts from the National Safety Council reports the following statistics [1] :

In 1999, 3,385 children and youth ages 0-19 years were killed with a gun. This includes homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries.
This is equivalent to about 9 deaths per day, a figure commonly used by journalists.
The 3,385 firearms-related deaths for age group 0-19 years breaks down to:
214 unintentional
1,078 suicides
1,990 homicides
83 for which the intent could not be determined
20 due to legal intervention
Of the total firearms-related deaths:
73 were of children under five years old
416 were children 5-14 years old
2,896 were 15-19 years old"

Every year. Within our own nation. Why are we spending money waging war when we need to be waging peace within our own borders??? For our kids, no less!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm

@ concerned:

Do you have the statistics of automobile injuries and death that are from accidents or are alcohol related? They are much larger than the stats that you revealed.

Should we now ban automobiles? Should we ban alcohol?

Yeah, it is funny that people want the Constitution to be a "living document" that changes with time UNTIL it says something that people agree with. The hypocrisy is almost funny.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Midtown Guy
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2012 at 9:32 pm

This thread had been hijacked by the "Right to Bear Arms--
Open-Carry" legalistic wing nuts. The man in Florida who shot
an unarmed black teenager was also a self-appointed vigilante and righteous gun toter acting as if he were a cop and pursuing imagined threats from innocents.

If you want to carry arms, train to be a cop, legally, period, and bear that heavy duty, oversight, and responsibility.

The rest of us don't need the zany problems of mistrust, suspicion,
and paranoia created by these anti-cop, open-carry zealots.

They read the Constitution as self-made attorneys to give them absolute rights that give them absolute power.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gun Hater
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 21, 2012 at 7:25 am

I believe in the right to bear arms, but not in the exercise of that right for the fearful and paranoid reasons given by Gun Lover. Gun Lover should be institutionalized, as he does not meet community standards of sanity if he thinks a) the govt threatens him, and b) carrying a gun is going to make him safe.

And if he is is right, that only law biding people carry guns, then why isn't the guy in Florida in jail? Because a dead teenager minding his own business is not legal. Answer: the NRA, and people like Gun Lover, have gone too far.

Scalia, in his DC gun law decision, outlined the sorts of laws limiting gun use which USSC would find legal. We need to put those suggestions into law.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by trudiDo
a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2012 at 11:57 am

What you need is to get rid of your union-busting city manager and the other paper-pushers, and use their salaries to pay for a few more police officers!


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


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

Steins, sausage and spaetzle: Mountain View hosts second Oktoberfest
By Elena Kadvany | 3 comments | 2,646 views

Men Are Good For Three Things
By Laura Stec | 29 comments | 2,638 views

Two creative lights depart Palo Alto, leaving diverse legacies
By Jay Thorwaldson | 2 comments | 1,442 views

Reducing Council Size? Against
By Douglas Moran | 13 comments | 1,091 views

Storytime is Full
By Cheryl Bac | 4 comments | 931 views