Town Square

Police helicopter used to search for suspects

Original post made on Apr 15, 2014

An interrupted home burglary in Palo Alto Monday night yielded one arrest, with two men still at large after a helicopter search failed to locate them, police said Tuesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 10:59 AM


Posted by McGruff, a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 15, 2014 at 11:29 am

It's like living in Tech Hollywood now. Criminals are preying on the area thinking everyone living here is rich in Palo Alto. Rude awakening for you criminals. Pick the wrong house like mine with an old school guy like me living here in Palo Alto not some foreigner or tech geek, and you'll find out I'm legally protected.

Posted by Raymond, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 15, 2014 at 11:39 am

Mr. McGruff; statistically speaking, you'll shoot someone you care about, or yourself, before you're able to foil a burglary.

Mark my words

Posted by Neato, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 15, 2014 at 12:01 pm

...or they'll steal the gun when you're not home. I'm glad you bought what you needed to buy to feel safe though. I feel safe without one..safer as a matter of fact.

Posted by resident, a resident of Community Center
on Apr 15, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Statistically speaking, gun owners are much much more likely to shoot themselves than anyone else.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 15, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Quick suggestion for burglars potentially thinking about Palo Alto. The folks in Atherton actually have much more money and larger places with more goods. Located just up the road. Don't waste your time here.

Posted by RussianMom, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 15, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Actually, "old school guy" will not exclude foreigner or tech geek.

Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2014 at 2:08 pm

I've lived in both South and now North Palo Alto and I can tell you that there are plenty of people living mortgage-to-mortgage here with no excess money for other things or activities. The burglars are hitting the wrong houses. Are the schools really worth the high mortgage if there is no leftover money? I don't think so.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 15, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

What a waste of resources.

Posted by Tuco, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm

The good news is they caught one of the three criminals. Two are on the loose which they will definitely catch next. Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in crime in Palo Alto. I think it's great that we all protect our families and homes we paid with our hard earned money. The gun owner statistic was done by Arthur Kellerman and the majority of cases were suicides. It doesn't appear that Mr McGruff is thinking of doing anything other than protecting his home from intruders. PAPD will step up patrols and more importantly neighbors will make sure to watch out for suspicious activity.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Regardless of statistics, if you own a gun you may become the next Oscar Pistorius.

Even someone who considers himself a responsible gun owner can make a mistake. Do you want to make a mistake like Oscar?

Oscar should be a lesson for everyone with a gun in their home. Do you want that responsibility?

Posted by midtown resident, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 15, 2014 at 8:44 pm

After seeing police all over our neighborhood and hearing the helicopter flying over our house, we asked the officer at the corner what was going on and his response was "just go home". When another neighbor stopped in their car to ask if they should be concerned the officer told them to "keep moving". So it's more important to inform us of a pancake breakfast via the emergency system than it is to let us know there are burglary suspects hiding in our neighborhood. Nice. Great community relations.

Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

Good to see all these opinions before the full details came out.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 15, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Much more out now in the PAPD press release. -- Web Link

No surprises. Expect the ensuing thread to get locked quickly. So many guns.

Posted by Wondering?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2014 at 9:21 am

Why is this even an issue? If there is any possibility that perps can be seen from the police in the air--why wouldn't everyone want the cops to find, and catch, the bad guys (using the simplest language possible) using helicopters for added support?

The police helicopters seem to drop below the 1000 foot level, and do make a lot of noise, but that's the price we pay to catch these guys. Of course, the question does arise if the cops actually catch people this way--at least like they seem to on the TV cop shows? Anyone got any idea of the success rate for these law enforcement adventures?

Posted by Happy, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 16, 2014 at 11:44 am

Happy to see PAPD embracing the technology that other police departments can offer them. The infrared equipment on police helicopters can search areas more efficiently than ground units and is an added layer of protection when dealing with suspects who may have guns. Right on!

Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2014 at 4:58 am

Sparty is a registered user.

some people would prefer the minimum resources be used for tracking down people running around with loaded guns

Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of Stanford
on Apr 17, 2014 at 11:05 am

Sparty - how do you know if one of the bad guys was running around with a loaded gun during this "manhunt"? Maybe I missed something in the article or other news reports?

Posted by Oh, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 17, 2014 at 11:36 pm

The SJPD helicopter offered no assistance other than to make low passes over a secured area and did not provide assistance in further arrests in this incident. Money wasted under the guise of new technology. Too funny!

Posted by Oh?, a resident of another community
on May 18, 2014 at 12:09 am


Could you please educate me as to what a police helicopter should be used for if not in part to search for burglars in a contained area?