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Three robberies, one armed, hit Palo Alto

Original post made on Mar 3, 2013

A man with a semi-automatic handgun walked into Public Storage on East Bayshore Road on March 2 and made off with cash and various items in what Palo Alto police said was one of three robberies that occurred in the city throughout the day.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, March 3, 2013, 2:25 PM

Comments (36)

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Posted by Surveillance-Cameras-Work
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Hmmm .. extra handsets are about $10 these days (maybe even a little less at a surplus store). And surveillance cameras .. not that expensive, these days.


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Posted by r.
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2013 at 4:55 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Marianne
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 3, 2013 at 5:18 pm

This storage space is technically in East Palo Alto. Why does this newspaper misinform?


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Posted by City Employee
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Which East Bay Shore Storage Unit?

1961 E. Bayshore is in EPA...

whereas

2047 E. Bayshore is in fact in Palo Alto.


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 3, 2013 at 8:56 pm

According to the police press release, it was 2047 East Bayshore in Palo Alto.

Web Link

"On Saturday, March 2, 2013, at about 4:57 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a 9-1-1 call reporting that an armed robbery had just occurred at Public Storage at 2047 East Bayshore Road."


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Is this the place across the street from the post office and next to a school?


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 3, 2013 at 10:07 pm

>> Police said the victim, a woman in her 60s, approached a group of men who were standing on the sidewalk and asked if she could buy a cigarette. One of the men allegedly handed her a cigarette. When she opened her purse to get some change, the man snatched the $5 bill out of her hand and tried to run away, police said. After a few steps, he dropped the bill. Police said when the woman picked the money up, he grabbed her arm and bit her on the hand, forcing to the release the money to him. Police said he then ran away with the money south on Kipling Street.


Sheesh ... I can scarcely believe this story ... can a person get any more low and scummy than this?

Does anyone think that this guy will go to jail and get rehabilitated or do anything to fix his life? Strong-arming an old lady and then biting her for 5 bucks ... that's just disgusting. This kind of person should just be in jail his whole life because when he gets out he is just going to cause more and bigger problems.


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Posted by Mountain Veiwer
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2013 at 7:19 am

I've read enough of these stories to not want to frequent Palo Alto any more. These are the acts of brazen criminals who appear to fear nothing.

I suggest Palo Altans head over to Mountain View for a safer experience in our downtown.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 4, 2013 at 7:41 am

Sure, there is been an uptick in robberies of late, but overall downtown Palo Alto is still a safe place to work, shop and dine. i know that sounds like an ad from the Chamber of Commerce, but it always bothers me to read a comment like,"Im not coming back to downtown PA because of crime.' C'mon, its still a great downtown.


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Posted by Raymond
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 4, 2013 at 8:23 am

60 yr old woman approaches a group of men to ask for a cigarette and then gets robbed of $5.

1. Quit smoking

2. Buy your own cigarettes

3. Do not approach a group of men and ask for a cigarette.

4. For a lousy $5 you could have avoided getting bit.

Shall I go on?


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Posted by robit noops
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 4, 2013 at 8:34 am

@mountain viewer. University ave has had problems from homeless, vagrancy, public intoxication, car break ins, bike thefts, etc. for the last few decades. It is really quite scummy and I do make frequent trips to Mt View to enjoy Castro and many of the other local business that havent been forced out by high rents (like Palo Alto).


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Posted by Kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 4, 2013 at 9:34 am

Just a note to you 'whippersnappers". A woman who is sixty years old is NOT an "old lady".


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Posted by bob
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 4, 2013 at 10:05 am

To robit noops and mountain viewer. I work in downtown PA everyday. It is one of the most pleasant environments there is for an urban or suburban downtown. I suppose that's why there is such a low vacancy rate. Sure, there is the occasional crime. That kind of thing occurs in any downtown, we just hear about it more because we have at least three newspapers in town reporting every little thing...like someone got there cell phone taken, or someone got $5 Taken when she tried to bum a cigarette. I just think the whole crime, homelessness, car break-ins thing is being blown out of proportion and y'all are not seeing the charm and buzz of downtown PA. I see it's greatness each day and as I think there is room for improvement, it's still a lot better than you and the media are making out to be.


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Posted by Crime Counter
a resident of Portola Valley
on Mar 4, 2013 at 11:03 am

Its true we hear about every little crime now-a-days, but its become glaringly apparent that more of these "little crimes" (like strong arm robbery w/ guns in the middle of the sidewalk) are happening in Palo Alto and NOT happening nearly as frequently as the surrounding areas. I 2nd and 3rd the comment that Mountain View has a VASTLY more enjoyable downtown experience, especially for families


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Posted by Janee
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 4, 2013 at 11:04 am

People please...there is equal amount of crime in downtown mountain view. Just dont go out late at night alone in a downtown dark area. Use your common sense. And carry mace if you are alone in a parking garage. Use your head.


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Posted by Al Zheimer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2013 at 11:37 am

A 60-year old lady who walks up to a group of men on a downtown sidewalk at midnight asking for a cigarette is not thinking clearly. She may or may not be old, but she's definitely not smart.


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Posted by JANE
a resident of University South
on Mar 4, 2013 at 11:39 am

There is a flurry of robberies in Palo Alto because:

1) We're supposed to be a wealthy community, and
2) The University Ave area is conveniently close to E. Palo Alto, so robbers see lots of people walking around and can quickly drive away down the street to East Palo Alto.

and. . . why would a woman go up to a group of men standing around at midnight and ask for a cigarette? and be surprised if there's trouble??


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Posted by JANE
a resident of University South
on Mar 4, 2013 at 11:39 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by danos
a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Janet
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm

The citizens of Palo Alto are sitting ducks!! I've lived in this town my entire life and I've never heard of more crime that there is nowaways in PA. The PA Police aren't cracking down on the violence.
Too much "political correctness" in this town.


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Posted by rusher
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm

thee cigareete thing was added to a more seriuos incident to make it look like spate. different incidents are used to blame someone.. either minority persons or ''homeless''. the robber was probably not ''homeless''. maybe some are , but everyone wants to hate rather than examining themselves. doesent matter to me if youre ignorant. maybe its as it should be........


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Posted by KelC
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 4, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Based on PA Weekly reports, this type of crime does appear to be rising in Palo Alto. No matter what type of citizens alert is used, more police and money to pay them will continue to be an issue. For the third incident in this story, "...around midnight, in the 400 block of Lytton Avenue. Police said the victim, a woman in her 60s, approached a group of men who were standing on the sidewalk and asked if she could buy a cigarette..."; I'm glad that Raymond, Jane and others are questioning this. Aside from being foolish choice by the victim to be walking about after midnight on her own, it is just not normal behavior to ask a strange group of men to "buy a cigarette". The rest of the incident are just effects to an undetermined cause. Don't be surprised if version 2 of that story comes out where it wasn't a robbery but rather a disagreement among strange friends...


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Posted by True but False
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm

"People please...there is equal amount of crime in downtown mountain view."

Please don't make up things using your assumptions. Especially when they are simply not true. I've taken my daughter to both downtown areas. I stopped taking her to DT Palo Alto if at all possible. Its become a pit. No thanks.


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 4, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Mountain View has averaged 49 robberies a year between 2007 and 2011. Palo Alto has averaged 32 between 2008 and 2012.

Palo Alto is pretty safe, and no statistics suggest it is getting worse. But that is no excuse to tolerate crime at the current level. We need more police, more cameras, and fewer idiotic policies that attract mentally ill homeless and drug addicts to loiter in the city.


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Posted by Apple Orange
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 4, 2013 at 5:14 pm

I'd be very interested to see equal comparisons from just the last two years. MV vs PA from 2010-2012


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Posted by Apple Orange
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Just looking at the PA stats, that means that in just one day, PA got 10% of their yearly average robberies since 2008. Is that a trend towards safety? We're seeing ARMED robberies on the street as well. That seems like something is broken and needs fixing fast.


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Posted by Gail
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 4, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Only when an extremely influential person, or a very rich person in PA gets robbed downtown, will the city and the police department start to take action and address the crime problem. The PA police department will only get tough when they feel some heat. Sad but true.


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 4, 2013 at 8:39 pm

@ Gail - That's not fair to the police, they are tough and do a good job given that they are terribly understaffed. They are the ones who really get it and could do something about it. The city council and mayor, not so much. You are right though, it will take something worse to happen before any sort of political will to do something arises.


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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Posted by Raymond, a resident of East Palo Alto, 12 hours ago

60 yr old woman approaches a group of men to ask for a cigarette and then gets robbed of $5.

1. Quit smoking

2. Buy your own cigarettes

3. Do not approach a group of men and ask for a cigarette.

4. For a lousy $5 you could have avoided getting bit.

Shall I go on?
_________
Raymond,
Clearly this woman did not exercise sound judgment. But she did not deserve to be bitten. She was the victim, and victims should not be blamed or chastised for their smoking habit.


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Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 5, 2013 at 12:39 am

I've always felt safe parking at City Hall. After all the Police are there, aren't they? Perhaps there need to be cameras in the stairwells. I've never walked in the stairwell really late or alone, but it has crossed my mind that's a good ambush place. PAPD .. please monitor all levels and stairs of that parking facility.


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Posted by billll
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Mar 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm

too many cops spoil the soup.


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Posted by Phil
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm

No, too many criminals do.


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Posted by danos
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Funny how my post was removed. The truth is tough for some to accept I guess.

Since the paper is not going to allow people to discuss real issues, it shouldn't bother allowing anyone to post comments at all.

That would be the safest PC thing to do.


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Posted by sparty
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Ha. You've got to be delirious or deliberately "mistaken" if you think downtown Mt View is even half as bad as downtown Palo Alto.

Mt View has the random drunks after the bars close, but you won't find a park full of derelicts as you do right there by Pizza a Go Go in Play. Nor is there a 7-11 with even more panhandlers and people bothering customers. (which makes me wonder--why are PA cops ALWAYS at starbucks on Stanford Ave, and 7-11 on Colorado, but NEVER seem to be at the downtown PA 7-11??)

The streets are deserted in downtown MV after 2am. Downtown PA is full of dark corners and people camping out. If you take away the Latham area from MV crime reports...it you'd see less 211s than PA

MV police haven't been taken over by PC requirements as PAPD has since the 90s (probably 80s)


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Posted by sparty
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Also--are the dates right??? This was AFTER the gun buy back, so it seems very unlikely that someone would be using a gun in a crime.

Especially since a silver semi auto was probably a Raven or Jennings or some other junker. Those aren't worth $50 used anyway. I'm sure any criminals would have used the gun buy back to double their money as well as turn their life around.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 7, 2013 at 10:59 am

It is shocking when people blame the victims for the acts of thugs. People who commit crimes like this are the worst of humanity. The fact that some will excuse it or tolerate it is just difficult to understand.


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