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EXCLUSIVE REPORT: Theater-burglary trail leads to U-Haul vans

Original post made on Mar 7, 2008

In two incidents last summer, traveler's checks stolen from the Palo Alto Children's Theatre were discovered in connection with one or more U-Haul trucks rented from an East Palo Alto market.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 7, 2008, 6:37 AM

Comments (9)

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Posted by Smells Fishy in Palo Alto
a resident of University South
on Mar 7, 2008 at 8:56 am

If PAPD knew back in June that this EPA couple tried to cash the checks why didnt they invesigate the UHaul records?

Why wait 6 months and shut down the theater in front of the kids and put Pat and Mike on leave? I'm not seeing the connection between the stolen checks and exhaustively investigating old costume sales months later.


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Posted by Michael
a resident of another community
on Mar 7, 2008 at 10:04 am

So they'll go all the way to Texas and can't interview people right in the area?

Do we need any more proof that the Palo Alto Police Department has completely bungled this investigation?

Unbelievable!!!!


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 7, 2008 at 1:05 pm

I'm glad to see the time line of the events in the Weekly article. After Miranda discovered the missing tripod on July 7, an immediate inventory should have been done by the Children's Theater staff. But it wasn't until Oct. 4 that more equipment was discovered to be missing. Was an inventory performed at that time? Also I'm puzzled at the lack of staff responsibility in accounting for issued checks at least monthly.

It is not the responsibility of either the City Manager's office or the police to manage the Theatre's operation. They can only respond to events reported by the Theatre staff.

Because of city mandated budget cuts, the police have been operating with reduced staff. Sgt. Yore has done an outstanding job in investigating this and several other crimes at the same time.


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Posted by maria
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 7, 2008 at 2:20 pm

This whole thing has a very bad smell about it. Seems like the police have gone WAY off the rails with this. Yore has not done an outstanding job. He's ruined the reputations of upstanding citizens. He should be drummed off the force - along with his supervisors who allowed this to go so far.


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Posted by CrocHunter
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 8, 2008 at 1:24 am

Now that's what I call a rambling article.


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Posted by a guy with a perspective
a resident of another community
on Mar 8, 2008 at 4:43 am

Bill. You seem to place all the blame on the theatre, and excuse any police misconduct based on budget cuts and reduced staffing. The theatre is also running on reduced staff, and has been for some time now. Back in June/July the theatre was in the midst of its summer schedule, building, teching and producing 10 shows in 10 weeks, please forgive us if we didn't have time to do a complete inventory until October when the theatre weren't painting sets until 30 minutes before curtain. the inventory took over a week to do, we did have that kind of time, we would have missed two show builds and ruined the summer experience of hundreds of kids.
I'm not saying that the police have mishandled the investigation, nor that the theatre employees are innocent (though I firmly believe in their character and their innocence). What I am saying is that all people ought to grant both sides, the police AND the theatre employees, the assumption that all persons involved were/are acting in good faith until any mismanagement, criminal activity and/or professional misconduct can be proven.


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 8, 2008 at 8:12 am

Guy. It's not a question of assigning blame at this time. But I note that some bloggers make statements without knowing the background. And opinions, not facts, only muddy the waters.

In your first sentence you said "excuse any police misconduct". Can you confirm any police misconduct?

In the City Auditor's annual publication "Service Efforts and Accomplishments" Report 2006-07, page 58, note that police staffing has been reduced from 97 sworn officers to 93. I hear the City's Finance Committee may consider another cut for the next budget year.


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Posted by guy
a resident of another community
on Mar 8, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Bill - If you read my whole post you would have read "I'm not saying that the police have mishandled the investigation", and I'm not because I can''t prove they have. What I was saying is that budget cuts have affected all parties, and I will repeat what I said: "All people ought to grant both sides, the police AND the theatre employees, the assumption that all persons involved were/are acting in good faith until any mismanagement, criminal activity and/or professional misconduct can be proven" either on the part of the police or the theatre employees.
On a separate semantic front, saying "any misconduct" does not allege any misconduct, it merely lays out a hypothetical. And I stand by that post, while you believe the police have handled the investigation properly, and I have no reason to dispute that claim, if there were any misconduct, it appears to me from your post that you would excuse it due to the budget cuts that have been placed on the city's police department, if I am wrong, please clarify your views.
Thirdly, while I can't be sure, I'd bet all the money in my pockets against all the money in your pockets that I am far more aware of the totality of facts concerning the break-in, the theatre's response and theatre operations in general than you are, I don't speak without knowing facts, and the main point of my post was to say that we should assume all people are innocent until proven guilty, police and suspects alike.


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 8, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Thank you, Guy. Statements should not be made that could be misconstrued. In any investigation many people get questioned. This does not mean they are guilty or the investigators are doing something wrong.

Your last sentence goes to the heart of the matter in every case: "...we should assume all people are innocent until proven guilty...".


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