News

Palo Alto couple robbed in home invasion

Three men forced entry, took wallets, cash, an unloaded gun and personal property

Three men forced their way into to the home of a Palo Alto couple in their 80s and robbed them at gunpoint on Thursday morning, Jan. 23, police said.

The men, one of whom was armed with a handgun, struck at the 400 block of Palo Alto Avenue near Waverley Street after knocking on the door, according to police.

The female resident opened the door and was immediately confronted by three men she did not recognize. The robbers forced their way into the home and made the two victims lie face down on the floor. The men took wallets, cash, miscellaneous personal property and an unloaded handgun from the home. Neither victim was injured.

The victims last saw the men flee in a vehicle headed eastbound on Palo Alto Avenue. Officers responding to a 9-1-1 call at 10:42 a.m. immediately searched the area, but they were unable to find any suspects, police said.

The robbers are described as black men in their twenties. All wore dark, hooded sweatshirts with the hoods over their heads. One man had a small black handgun. The suspect vehicle is a newer, large "boxy-looking" beige or white four-door sedan.

The victims may be able to meet with a police sketch artist; if any sketches are produced, they will be released, police said. Detectives are actively working on the investigation.

There have been no similar crimes recently in Palo Alto, police said.

Anyone who may have information about the case is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

Comments

Posted by Nick, a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2014 at 1:54 pm

I wonder if it's these same three guys? Sounds like a similar description:
Web Link


Posted by cheerio, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Member, a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Please hire an editor or proofreader who understands the difference between 'lie' and 'lay', understands that music does not soothe the savage 'beast', that home is not where the 'heart' is. While you're at it, have everyone look up the meaning of the phrase, "begs the question." It is almost always used incorrectly.


Posted by wow, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 23, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Nick - their MO seems pretty different, and so is the area. PA Ave is densely populated, houses close together, compared to LAH. I do hope it's the same trio, as this video would be great evidence. Maybe the police will read this and the victims can review it, or once sketches are done, they can compare?


Posted by since, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 23, 2014 at 3:06 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by dddd, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 23, 2014 at 3:07 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by oitfgvvrtgbfetrfg h, a resident of University South
on Jan 23, 2014 at 3:07 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by bhhby, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 23, 2014 at 3:11 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by fg5fgf, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 23, 2014 at 3:14 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by fg5fgf, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 23, 2014 at 3:14 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Reader, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 23, 2014 at 3:23 pm

"Vibrancy" at its best


Posted by Berry, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 23, 2014 at 3:36 pm

The Great Wall of Palo Alto!


Posted by Ronnie, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 23, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Member: are you sure about lay vs. lie? You inspired me to google the topic. The past tense of lie is lay. So, since the sentence is "....made [them] lay." I think that's correct. The sentence is about the past. It describes events in the past. Made is the past tense of make. If what I read is correct, then "I make you lie..." and "I made you lay..."

Here is a good article on the topic
Web Link


Posted by rick, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 23, 2014 at 4:47 pm

rick is a registered user.

Sometimes I wonder. Breaking news story where some individual has an interest in curtailing discussion immediately? No quicker way to get a thread locked than multiple posts of ranting and profanity.

I'm sure this robbery has the full attention of law enforcement. Maybe those new license plate readers will prove their worth. Why was this particular residence targeted, simple bad luck, or something we can learn from?


Posted by Retired Teacher, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 23, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Retired Teacher is a registered user.

Ronnie, lie and lay are commonly misused words. The past tense of lie is indeed lay. But when you force someone to lie down, that's in the present. The event was in the past, but the verb tense is not.

Chickens lay eggs; people lie down.

Confused? I'll bet. Just remember the prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep." It's old, it's cool, it's wrong.

Or Bob Dylan: "Lay lady lay…" Great song. But wrong.

You can take heart if you wish because these language rules are fast disappearing. Soon there will be no grammatical, diction, or usage rights or wrongs.

Further consolation: In Shakespeare's time, these rules were not nearly so codified or rigid. Read up on Samuel Johnson and successors for more enlightenment.



Posted by JustMe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm

JustMe is a registered user.

This story is very distressing. I don't presume to know the fear and worry that must have been in these poor homeowners hearts. I am thankful they were not harmed.

I don't suppose any of the neighbors had a video surveillance system in operation, did they? A lot of information can be gotten from even the grainiest and distant footage. Any clues would be good.


Posted by carl in berkeley, a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2014 at 9:33 pm

carl in berkeley is a registered user.

it 's very disturbing to see and read
television and online reports
of the home invasion robbery of the elderly couple
on palo alto avenue ..
a friend of mine lives near them ..
someone i know
in the lower piedmont area of oakland
has had this happen to her more than once ..
i lived in palo alto during most of the 1970s ..
i 'm very surprised to hear of this happening ..
usually the east bay tends to have this type of crime ..


Posted by ChrisC, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 23, 2014 at 11:17 pm

ChrisC is a registered user.

Ronnie, Member is correct. The intransitive verb "lie" has practically disappeared from American English. Now, when someone uses it correctly in speech, I thank them. I don't go around correcting them, however I was going to comment to Sue that she change "lay" to "lie." A journalist should know the difference. You lay something (direct object) on the table; you lie down (no object). Lay is the past tense of lie: I lay in bed all morning watching TV. Laid is the past tense of lay: I laid the blanket on the bed. Don't get me started on emigrate and immigrate. I hate when commenters get off on tangents, but your post made me.


Posted by ChrisC, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 24, 2014 at 12:01 am

ChrisC is a registered user.

Retired teacher: I do not think "now I lay me down to sleep" is incorrect, at least as far as lie and lay are concerned. "me" is the direct object of lay. Technically, it would be "lay myself down," as the subject and object are the same entity. I'd be happy to work for Palo alto online/weekly as a copy editor. : )


Posted by carl in berkeley, a resident of another community
on Jan 24, 2014 at 10:23 am

carl in berkeley is a registered user.

why the discussion of
semantics? .. grammar? .. spelling? ..
when the focus should be
on the elderly couple
who had their home invaded
and their safety and lives put at risk? ..
i hope you academics
do n't try to correct
the speech and grammar
of perpetrators
if they ever invade your home ..


Posted by Retired Teacher, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 24, 2014 at 10:46 am

Retired Teacher is a registered user.

Chris C, you're right about the reflexive--I stand corrected. You are clearly qualified to be a copy editor for the Weekly. Just between you and I, and irregardless of the changing grammatical landscape, theres still much work to be done, perhaps starting with it's and its. But dont spend all the money youll urn in one place.

Carl in Berkeley, maybe we're just trying to distract ourselves from this unsettling story. And you have a good point about not arguing fine points of grammar and usage with home invaders, who are now armed with an additional handgun, for which they've probably been able to find ammunition. Remember to check who's knocking at your door, although they sound like people who might well kick the door in if you didn't make entry easy for them.

Meanwhile, let's thank the good Lord that no one was injured, at least not physically.


Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford
on Jan 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

This is horrible, and must have been terrifying for the couple. I hope the men are caught, and soon. It's sad and more than a bit sickening that's it's no longer safe to open the front door.


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 26, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

I hope that they catch these thugs and do something to them that will cause them to: A.) Stop taking something that they didn't work for; B.) Understand that only fools are "thugs;" and, C.) They are an utter shame to their families, friends and the human race.


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