Egregious lack of security
Original post made by YSK, Old Palo Alto, on Jul 8, 2009
As a result I stupidly left my black purse in the cart. I was using one of the smaller baskets that is itself dark, the bags stood out, the purse did not. The bags were on top of the purse, I simply did not see it in the cart.
I wheeled my cart back to the North entrance, and left. Only when at E. Charleston did I notice that my purse was not in the car. I promptly turned around and raced back to Safeway. I conducted a huge search, but the purse was gone and had not been turned in.
After a bout of hysterics, (since so much of what was in the purse was important to my daily life due to the move), and because I swear if I get any more stressed out or experience any more loss I will simply incinerate from spontaneous internal combustion; the police came and a very nice and as I came to find out over the next few days and interactions; competent officer took down the details for me.
When I got home I promptly called my bank, only to find out that no, some HONEST person did NOT find my purse and bring it home to return to the owner the next day.
What I found out was that SCUM had found the purse, and almost immediately proceeded to El Camino to use my card at a gas station. Charge: $1.00. Something the bank explained to me that criminals do when they are trying to ascertain if a card is valid. Then they later purchase something more to their liking than gas.
I was excited in a way to hear that they went to the gas station, let the police know immediately, then was let down to find out their security cameras were on the fritz. Something a cop friend of mine warned me most likely would be the story. Not only were the camera's not working, but the drowsy clerk couldn't recall what cars were at the pump. Only two sales at that hour, but he can't remember. If it were me working a late shift, I would be very much aware who came and went from my place of employment if only as a matter of personal safety! At Safeway, we found out that the security camera does not cover the parking lot or even the entrance.
My question? WHY? Why are these camera's not working or covering the parking lots? Palo Alto is not the safe haven that it once was. Crime touches us here too. Yeah, totally my bad leaving that purse in that cart. More bad though, is the creep who found it and decided to use it for their own purposes. Whoever it is, they disgust me. I had in there an ID Card from my recently deceased Dad...a checkbook wallet which was a Christmas present from my daughters. My Blackberry, encased in phone holder which was another gift. Medication from a recent shoulder surgery, here I was moving and spent the weekend in pure physical agony. Many other small personal items that were MINE, and meant something to ME. I am job hunting, broke beyond belief. My last $22 was in that purse. So was a friends garage door opener, my daughter's IRS check, and a small victims restitution check made out to me because I was previously the victim of a crime.
Yes, I was stupid to leave my purse in that cart. Thing is, if someone else had done that, and I was the one that came across it, no worries. I would have done the RIGHT thing, promptly handed it over to the store manager or the police. I have done that before. Found $450 bucks cash once, in a wallet, when I was financially strapped with a utility turn off notice... but I still did the right thing and found the owner. Wasn't the first time I did the right thing, and in spite of what just happened, won't be the last.
It makes me sick to my stomach to think how vile and base some people can be. It angers me that we don't have working security systems in this City. A woman had her purse forcibly removed from her at that Safeway, and Midtown had a lot of problems with assault crimes last year. Gas stations, according to now two banks I have talked to, are the first place a lot of these scumbags go with a newly aquired ATM/Credit card, to check their validity. Why are these stores not stepping up their security? It's not all that expensive, and it helps them as much as it helps us.
Last, please, if anyone has found a purse, or random things that appear to belong to someone and you don't know where they came from, please turn them in to the Palo Alto PD. Thanks.