News

Woman allegedly steals jewelry while man sleeps

Gold chains, Rolex taken during theft at Opportunity Center

A man who befriended a woman at Palo Alto's nonprofit Opportunity Center had $20,000 to $25,000 worth of jewelry stolen from his room as he slept, Palo Alto police said.

"It was basically a boy meets girl; boy invites girl into his room; boy falls asleep and girl takes jewelry" story, Sgt. Con Maloney said.

The resident told police he met the woman on Friday, July 20, at about 1:30 a.m. as he was returning to the center at 33 Encina Ave. Opportunity Center provides comprehensive services to homeless and at-risk persons, including some residential housing.

The woman told the resident she was there to visit friends but could not get into the building. The man let her into the building, but when her friends did not answer their door, the man befriended her.

The victim allowed the woman to stay in his room and cooked dinner for her. He fell asleep at about 4 a.m., he told police. The man awoke around noon to find the woman was gone and so was the jewelry, which included gold chains, pendants, earrings and a collector's edition Rolex watch.

The woman is described as a 30- to 35-year-old African American with straight black hair, brown eyes and a slender build. She is 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall and between 115 to 125 pounds. She wore a long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans and carried a small white handbag.

Comments

Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 24, 2012 at 11:38 am

Wait. A man living in the Opportunity Center was wearing $20,000 - $25,000 worth of jewelry?

Hard times?


Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm

I agree - with 20-25K of assets, why is this man living at the Opportunity Center? There are plenty of people who truly could use the Center as a place to live.


Posted by neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm

A ridiculous story that strains credibility on several levels, likely misuse of PA police resources to try to figure it out, and also calls into question the function/use of the "Opportunity Center" here in Palo Alto.
If the story is true, which I doubt, I seriously doubt this is a former Palo Altan fallen on hard times living at this place -- it has to be an outsider who moved here to take advantage of our largesse. Err how were the valuable acquired and by what means...


Posted by Palo-Alto--Where Even Bums Carry $25K in Pocket Change!, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Wonder if the police bothered to ask for receipts, or proof of purchase, for the watches and jewelry?

So .. all of you bleeding hearts out there--what'cha gonna do to help this guy out? Gonna write him a couple of $10K checks so that his feelings are too badly bruised by what will no doubt be called "a misunderstanding" by her defense lawyer--on the odd chance she is caught?

This woman has certainly given a new, and uniquely Palo Alto twist to the idea of "opportunity".


Posted by Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern, a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jul 24, 2012 at 9:48 pm

This story leaves me with some questions and I hope the PAPD is asking them also. For example, whether the man actually owned jewelry of that much worth. It sounds highly unlikely.

How people get from this story to a conclusion that there is no real poverty in Palo Alto, and no need for a homeless shelter, bewilders me. Maybe they are just looking for confirmation of what they already believe, though that doesn't explain how it is possible to walk down the streets of our area and not know that desperate poverty is real.


Posted by Palo-Alto--Where Even Bums Carry $25K in Pocket Change!, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2012 at 7:21 am

> though that doesn't explain how it is possible to walk down
> the streets of our area and not know that desperate poverty is real.

Good Laudie, Miss Claudie ..

Digging thru the most recent Census data, we find—

Palo Alto, CA:
Web Link

The following economic data can there be found—

---Income | People
> $10,000 | 949
> $14,999 | 723
> $24,999 | 995

The Census doesn't provide much information as to where the people making less than $24,999 live, so this data is not all that useful, unfortunately, for a discussion like this one.

So, Rev, most people in your occupation spend a lot of time trafficking in hyperbole, rarely in documented facts. We're left with very conflicting teaching from you folks (like-- "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:23-24). Yet, you folks are quick to scoop up those checks from the wealthy that you seem to have so much contempt for. (By the way, where do you think the money in those checks comes from?)

So .. where is all this poverty in Palo Alto? Or is this just another soft references to "hellfire and damnation"--the cornerstone of your worldview?

What streets can you name where there is "poverty"? And what's your explanation for all this poverty? War lords raping the land and the people? Absentee landlords sucking the life out of the people with high rents and unbreakable leases? Public schools that have closed their doors because they have been defunded?

So, Rev .. why not get a digital camera, document your observations, upload them to Youtube .. and make your case in the real world.


Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of Stanford
on Jul 25, 2012 at 11:01 am

Uh, above commenter, the good Rev. is a minister at the local Unitarian Universalist Church - hardly hellfire and damnation. She's a very fact-based speaker, not into hyperbole. Her church does a lot of work with people ranging from lower income to impoverished to those on a fixed income.

Gosh, if I owned all of that jewelry and found myself unhoused, I'd likely sell as much as possible to re-house myself. Just sayin'.


Posted by Palo-Alto--Where Even Bums Carry $25K in Pocket Change!, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm

> She's a very fact-based speaker, not into hyperbole

If you say so .. but her posting suggests that she waded into this discussion with a vision of "the mean streets of Palo Alto" that doesn't match most people's vision of our little town, or even comes close to the facts that are available from the US Census.


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