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Police arrest two men for Palo Alto burglary

Two employees of a Bay Area termite-control company were arrested last week (Dec. 14) after the firm's owner suspected they might have been involved in burglaries in Palo Alto and Los Altos Hills homes that were burglarized after receiving termite work from his company.

In both cases, the homeowners called the owner of the termite-control company, who then contacted police.

(View the police press release)

The Palo Alto burglary occurred between Nov. 27 and 28 in the 100 block of Tennyson Avenue.

Police Officer Tom Pohl determined that the two employees, recently hired by the termite-control company, both had police records. The men were identified as Herbert A. Thompson, 48, who was on parole for robbery and Isaac Aguilar, 20, who was wanted on two felony warrants for narcotics violations.

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The men were located and arrested by Foster City police, Palo Alto Police Agent Donna Arndt said. A search of their vehicle produced property stolen in both the Palo Alto and Los Altos Hills burglaries, along with four guns, she reported. Thompson and Aguilar face burglary charges, Arndt said.

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Police arrest two men for Palo Alto burglary

Uploaded: Thu, Dec 20, 2007, 3:34 pm

Two employees of a Bay Area termite-control company were arrested last week (Dec. 14) after the firm's owner suspected they might have been involved in burglaries in Palo Alto and Los Altos Hills homes that were burglarized after receiving termite work from his company.

In both cases, the homeowners called the owner of the termite-control company, who then contacted police.

(View the police press release)

The Palo Alto burglary occurred between Nov. 27 and 28 in the 100 block of Tennyson Avenue.

Police Officer Tom Pohl determined that the two employees, recently hired by the termite-control company, both had police records. The men were identified as Herbert A. Thompson, 48, who was on parole for robbery and Isaac Aguilar, 20, who was wanted on two felony warrants for narcotics violations.

The men were located and arrested by Foster City police, Palo Alto Police Agent Donna Arndt said. A search of their vehicle produced property stolen in both the Palo Alto and Los Altos Hills burglaries, along with four guns, she reported. Thompson and Aguilar face burglary charges, Arndt said.

Comments

GSB
Mountain View
on Dec 20, 2007 at 3:44 pm
GSB, 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?


GSB
Mountain View
on Dec 20, 2007 at 3:45 pm
GSB, Mountain View
on Dec 20, 2007 at 3:45 pm

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


s squared
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2007 at 5:03 pm
s squared, 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???


common sense
Midtown
on Dec 20, 2007 at 5:09 pm
common sense, 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.


Stefan
College Terrace
on Dec 20, 2007 at 5:59 pm
Stefan, 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.


Bug Burdened
Ventura
on Dec 20, 2007 at 6:24 pm
Bug Burdened, Ventura
on Dec 20, 2007 at 6:24 pm

And no mention of whether the termites are gone!


Lou
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 20, 2007 at 7:23 pm
Lou, 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?


Got Wages?
South of Midtown
on Dec 20, 2007 at 8:02 pm
Got Wages?, 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.


Bebe
Old Palo Alto
on Dec 20, 2007 at 8:30 pm
Bebe, 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.


anonymous
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 20, 2007 at 8:47 pm
anonymous, 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!


Terry
Midtown
on Dec 20, 2007 at 8:49 pm
Terry, 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.


Wow - Not From EPA?
East Palo Alto
on Dec 21, 2007 at 10:00 am
Wow - Not From EPA?, 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.


reaq
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 22, 2007 at 2:34 pm
reaq, Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 22, 2007 at 2:34 pm

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


Jenny
South of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2007 at 4:05 pm
Jenny, South of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2007 at 4:05 pm

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


Joanna
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 25, 2007 at 8:20 am
Joanna, Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 25, 2007 at 8:20 am

Wages,

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


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