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Police arrest two men for Palo Alto burglary

Original post made on Dec 20, 2007

Two employees of a Bay Area termite control company were arrested this week after the company's owner suspected that they might have been involved in residential burglaries in Palo Alto and Los Altos Hills where homes were burglarized after receiving termite work from his company.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 20, 2007, 3:34 PM

Comments (15)

Posted by GSB, a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 20, 2007 at 3:44 pm

Aren't companies like these supposed to run background checks on applicants before offering employment? Or is this one of those times you really have to look for the word "bonded" when hiring a company?

Posted by GSB, a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 20, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Either way, I wonder why they're not naming the company.

Posted by s squared, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2007 at 5:03 pm

It does make you wonder about background checks and references. Witness the murder of that young girl by her personal trainer from a gym. He had a record of violence. And we are supposed to trust these people!!! I sure would like to know the name of the company. And how do we protect ourselves???

Posted by common sense, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 20, 2007 at 5:09 pm

The problem is that the work may have been subcontracted out, temps hired, etc. The company that did the inspection, may not be the one who did the fumigation.

Posted by Stefan, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 20, 2007 at 5:59 pm

Interesting story. Not because of what they reported, but what they DIDN'T report. Why not name the company? Even if, as "common sense" wrote, the work may have been that of a subcontractor, isn't the hired company ultimately responsible for the behavior of its employees and subcontractors?

I think it's irresponsible journalism NOT to report the name. I don't think this company can be trusted. That's just my opinion, though, and I think all readers have the right to make that judgment for themselves. As it is, I'm now skeptical of all Bay-Area pest control businesses.

Posted by Bug Burdened, a resident of Ventura
on Dec 20, 2007 at 6:24 pm

And no mention of whether the termites are gone!

Posted by Lou, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 20, 2007 at 7:23 pm

These two were arrested after a burglary on Tennyson?? Wasn't it on Tennyson where a resident was accosted and robbed getting out of his automobile not too long ago? Could there be a connection?

Posted by Got Wages?, a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 20, 2007 at 8:02 pm

The race to the bottom in unskilled or semi-skilled wages, highly exaccerbated by the flood of illegal immigrants, leaves very little room for legitimate businesses to compete, if they agree to screen their own employees, including their subs.

A few major lawsuits will curtail the problem. However, get used to paying a reasoanble working wage for your termite problems. And your lawns. And your maid services. Just a guess, but probably about $45/hour for each person employed directly; add at least 50% if you are paying through a contractor.

Posted by Bebe, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 20, 2007 at 8:30 pm

"These two were arrested after a burglary on Tennyson?? Wasn't it on Tennyson where a resident was accosted and robbed getting out of his automobile not too long ago? Could there be a connection?"

Interesting point. I seem to recall that the description of the robbers in the robbery could have fit the two guys arrested, but I'm not sure. I hope the cops check this out. I live on Tennyson.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 20, 2007 at 8:47 pm

Regarding the risk of subcontracters (unknown people) being involved in a job and posing a possible risk:
It sounds from the story like these were actual employees in this case.

Tenting is a big job in certain respect. I remember contracting with a termite company to do a tenting of my home many years ago, and another company's truck showed up on the day to do the job! I remember we had a harangue about it, actually can't recall how it was resolved. We had done all the preparation, removed food and pets, etc. so we wanted to go ahead with the job. I do remember he had no prior arrangement for any sub to show up and do it and were surprised at an unknown company showing up. This could pose a variety of risks.

So when you arrange for tenting, directly ask if the people you're contracting with will be the actual people showing up to do the job!

Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 20, 2007 at 8:49 pm

The company isn't obligated to screen its workers and probably does not to save $$. Unfortunately, unless someone gets hurt a lawsuit seems unlikely due to the cost and time involved.

Some of the large cable and phone companies only recently (last couple years for Comcast) started to insist on pre-employment screening by their subs. So smaller operations you can imagine generally do even less. Something to factor in when choosing a vendor I suppose.

Posted by Wow - Not From EPA?, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 21, 2007 at 10:00 am

I've read the constant snide comments about EPA residents who commit criminal acts in PA. While they do make up some of the crime stats in PA, many of the crimes are meth-related & committed by non-EPA residents. It'll be interesting to see in future reports where these burglars live.

Posted by reaq, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Dec 22, 2007 at 2:34 pm

nobody ever talks about the cocaine drunk driving of white collar caucasians in the valley ...

Posted by Jenny, a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Wow, I just had some termite work done, now I'm left wondering.

Posted by Joanna, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Dec 25, 2007 at 8:20 am


What did Rush Lim-blah say about this issue? Hmmmm?

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