Police to hold community meeting on robberies

Palo Alto police investigating spate of armed robberies; meeting set for Jan. 19

The Palo Alto Police Department will host a community-awareness meeting about recent armed robberies in Palo Alto on Wednesday (Jan. 19) at 7 p.m. at Cubberley Theater, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.

"The Palo Alto Police Department realizes the community's concern," the department stated in a press release Friday (Jan. 14).

Police Chief Dennis Burns said he has made the robbery trend the department's highest priority.

Palo Alto police are investigating 20 robberies that have occurred since Sept. 20, 2010, the department stated in a Jan. 14 press release. Eight suspects have been arrested and six individual cases have been solved, a department spokesperson said.

The police department is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects responsible for committing the robberies.

Persons with information regarding any of these crimes are encouraged to call the Palo Alto Police Department Tip Line at 650-329-2190, or tips can be e-mailed to or texted to 650-383-8984.

— Palo Alto Online staff

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Like this comment
Posted by rapist on the loose
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Will they also be addressing the 2 recently reported rape attempts? One was downtown on Thanksgiving and the other was at Stanford a couple of weeks ago. Suspect descriptions in both cases are similar (tall thin white man with dark hair and a goatee).

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 16, 2011 at 10:54 am

Having a greater defensive posture and awareness on the part of the local public may help a bit but it is still the CRIMINALS who need to be dealt with. I recommend action to stop the CRIMINALS.

Like this comment
Posted by Use-More-Digital-Technology
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm

This is one of those events where the police presentation should be both streamed to the public, and made available in digital format on the city's web site so that people who might not be able to make the session can at least hear what the police have to say.

This is another example of how backward the city, and its police department, can be.

Like this comment
Posted by Andrea
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 18, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Use-More-Digital-Technology - The police are busy working….not uploading videos but if you are so worried about the “backwardness” of the department it sounds like a great project YOU should volunteer for.

Thank you Chief Burns for taking time to address the community and PAPD for continuing to work to protect our streets.

Like this comment
Posted by Use-More-Digital-Technology
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 18, 2011 at 7:41 pm

> The police are busy working

And you know this how?

> “backwardness” of the department it sounds like a great project
> YOU should volunteer for.

Volunteer? The following are the actual salaries/payouts for 2009 for most of the people who should be capable of doing this work:

Police Chief-Adv 198,997.37
Police Lieut-Adv 189,329.93
Police Agent/Adv 184,035.09
Police Sgt/Adv 178,826.67
Police Captain-Adv 178,594.02
Police Lieut-Adv 174,837.41
Police Lieut-Adv 172,677.42
Police Lieut-Adv 172,035.04
Police Captain-Adv 170,129.09
Police Sgt/Adv 168,551.53
Police Sgt/Adv 167,320.76
Police Sgt/Adv 166,502.54
Police Agent/Adv 164,315.93
Public Safety Dispatcher 162,620.49
Police Lieut-Adv 161,811.51
Police Sgt/Adv 161,289.15
Police Sgt/Adv 154,822.97
Police Sgt/Adv 152,904.71
Police Sgt/Adv 151,249.89
Police Sgt/Adv 150,740.86
Police Sgt/Adv 150,688.03
Police Agent/Adv 149,553.80
Police Sgt/Adv 147,719.29
Police Sgt/Adv 147,063.81
Coord POL Tech Svcs 146,556.60
Police Agent/Adv 143,604.94
Police Agent/Adv 143,107.64
Police Sgt/Adv 142,096.27
Police Agent/Adv 142,002.35
Police Sgt/Adv 141,639.17
Police Agent/Adv 137,761.35
Police Sgt/Adv 135,308.79
Police Officer-Inter 135,109.12
Police Officer-Inter 133,628.22
Police Agent/Adv 133,208.59
Police Officer-Inter 132,969.25
Police Agent/Adv 132,876.74
Police Agent/Adv 132,449.36
Police Agent/Adv 131,954.43
Police Agent/Adv 131,729.11
Police Officer-Inter 130,593.70
Police Officer-Inter 130,427.14
Police Officer-Inter 130,174.52
Police Agent/Adv 130,052.78
Police Agent/Adv 129,155.94
Police Agent/Adv 129,090.81
Police Officer-Inter 128,319.34
Police Officer-Inter 126,559.79
Police Agent/Adv 126,363.31
Police Officer-Inter 125,009.51
Police Officer-Inter 124,759.58
Police Officer-Inter 124,438.56
Police Officer-Inter 124,334.35
Public Safety Dispatcher 124,006.74
Police Officer-Inter 123,741.94
Veterinarian 123,538.88
Police Agent/Adv 123,516.32
Police Officer-Inter 123,323.77
Police Agent/Adv 122,816.25
Code Enforcement Off 121,846.50
Police Agent/Adv 121,644.82
Police Agent/Adv 121,293.39
Police Officer-Inter 120,963.94
Police Officer-Inter 120,336.71
Police Officer-Inter 120,298.31
Sr. Administrator 120,166.40
Police Officer-Inter 119,938.66
Police Officer-Inter 119,692.28
Public Safety Dispatcher 119,645.78
Police Lieut-Adv 118,051.27
Police Officer-Inter 117,813.40
Police Officer-Inter 117,245.01
Public Safety Dispatcher 116,494.97
Public Safety Dispatcher 116,405.00
Police Officer-Inter 115,849.00
Police Officer-Inter 115,633.84
Police Officer-Inter 114,547.10
Police Officer-Inter 114,346.41
Police Officer-Inter 113,991.57
Police Officer-Inter 113,513.16
Public Safety Dispatcher 112,126.26
Police Officer-Inter 112,038.52
Business Analyst - S 111,166.57
Police Officer-Inter 110,371.57
Police Officer-Inter 110,256.55
Public Safety Dispatcher 110,246.90
Public Safety Dispatcher 108,477.63
Police Officer-Inter 106,929.99
Police Officer-Inter 106,359.71
Police Officer-Inter 105,924.01
Public Safety Dispatcher 105,831.42
Police Officer-Inter 103,644.89
Police Officer-Inter 103,416.56
Public Safety Dispatcher 102,591.78
Police Officer-Inter 101,486.60
Police Officer-Inter 101,305.37
Public Safety Dispatcher 101,245.37
Supv Police Service 99,725.29
Public Safety Dispatcher 99,501.81
Police Chief-Adv 98,985.82
Police Officer-Inter 98,675.20
Supt Animal Services 98,440.01
Police Officer-Inter 98,338.76
Police Officer-Inter 98,335.21
Public Safety Dispatcher 98,150.35
Police Officer-Inter 96,796.80
Supv Police Service 95,674.01
Public Safety Dispatcher 95,397.09
Comm Tech 95,194.77
Police Officer-Inter 94,055.72
Management Spec 92,740.38
Public Safety Dispatcher 92,111.51
Supv Police Service 89,613.98
Crime Analyst 88,594.90
Supv Animal Svcs 84,606.41
Police Officer-Inter 82,770.02
Admin Assistant 80,438.41
Crime Analyst 78,464.43

When you are paying people almost $200,000 a year .. what are they doing to justify this salary? If someone is worthy of this sort of salary, they should be able to do more than they are doing now.

No one in the private sector gets paid these sorts of salaries. Yet, it would not be hard to find hundreds of people in/around Palo Alto that could implement these sorts of ideas.

(It would be hard to find generals in the Military commanding these sorts of salaries.)

Sorry .. but the idea of "volunteering" to do the work that these people should be doing is truly an offensive idea!

It's time we got what we paid for from this police department.

Like this comment
Posted by TO: Use-More-Digital-Technology
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 18, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Quit the hatred.

Like this comment
Posted by Andrea
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Use-More-Digital-Technology....I would love to know what you do for a living because sitting on your high horse seems like quiet a strenuous job. You are throwing out a lot of stats with no real data behind it besides your strange self-righteous attitude does not do anything to make your point.

Police deserve to make good salaries because they risk their lives on a daily basis for ungrateful people like you.

The point of the story is the Chief is taking the time to address the community and you need to complain. How is that helping anything??

Like this comment
Posted by Thanks, PAPD for our safety
a resident of Duveneck School
on Jan 18, 2011 at 10:01 pm

The meeting should be broadcast live. It would actually be easier on the PAPD. Much less hostility to hear if less Palo Altans attend. It's not easy being on the PAPD force. There are a lot of outspoken, ungrateful residents in Palo Alto.

Every officer I have encountered has been professional and polite, which is part of their job description (along with a four-year degree).

All of the residents who complain about PAPD don't have the courage to be a police officer, nor do they have the patience to put up with the crap the police hear from citizents. PAPD deserve six figure salaries because they risk their lives for us. What price is a life?

I believe it's Half Moon Bay that has no city police department. Imagine that.

Like this comment
Posted by Charlie
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 18, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Officer, I just want to know what's inside these purses that trigger many of the recent robbery incidents. I still believe most ppl do not carry much cash with them. Are these suspects mostly drug addicts?

Like this comment
Posted by SC resident
a resident of another community
on Jan 19, 2011 at 10:13 am

I live in San Carlos where we no longer have a police department. I think there has been a noticeable difference since the county sheriff dept took over, and not in a good way. I just don't see as many police around anymore. Stop being so critical of the officers that work hard to keep you safe. You are lucky to have them.

Like this comment
Posted by Use-More-Digital-Technology
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2011 at 10:18 am

> All of the residents who complain about PAPD don't have the courage
> to be a police officer

This is a very odd statement. How would the author know about other people's courage? In fact, how would the author of such a statement know about the courage of anyone but himself/herself?

I wonder what this person thinks about the men and women of the US Military? Palo Alto has been very unflattering to these folks in the past. Wonder if the author of this statement has been either a police officer, or in the military?

> risk their lives daily ..

That's a matter of contention.

Web Link

In 2009, 48 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed
in the line of duty.

If one looks at the mortality rates for other occupations, lumberjacks and deckhands on fishing trawlers have far, far, more dangerous jobs.

Santa Clara County has a very low violent crime rate. Most people are not aware of that fact, but the data is available from the FBI, on the web site referenced by the link above. The local papers tend to dwell on the very few murders, because they are so infrequent.

Burglaries and larcenies are much more frequent, but don't get the attention that they should from the papers. The police don't help, by producing a dynamic map of crime in the city. The following is an example of what the LA Times is doing with crime data:

Web Link

In a small town like PA, there is no reason the police should not be producing this map, updated as soon as possible.

> The point of the story is the Chief is taking the time to
> address the community

Why? What is it that the police chief can tell "the community" at a public meeting (that only a handful of people will attend) that he can not tell the whole city via appropriate, and timely, crime reporting statistics, and on-going press releases?

No doubt a few residents might have some unique insights, and perhaps a few interesting questions. OK .. so why is it that these people can't email the questions to a police representative, and have them added to an FAQ on the police web-site, that everyone in the city can read?

And what about having the chief video his comments and posting them on Youtube, and the police web site? Every police official from here to Mars always says the same thing: "we're doing everything we can. However, we can always use your help. If you see anything suspicious, please call us."

As to this spate of robberies, a recent Police press release indicated that eight people had been arrested, with twenty robberies reported. The press release failed to note if these people had been indicted, if they were out on bail, or if they had plead guilty and were in jail. Why can't the police provide that information to the public in a summary form? Why can't the newspapers do their job and ask the police these questions?

Why does this town act like a chicken with its head cut off?

For people who believe that the police are "doing every thing they can" .. maybe you might explain why they can not do a better job of communicating the general state of affairs to the public?

There have been more robberies than these in recent years. Why not start with an overview of whether this situation is any different than in those years. This sort of information does not need a public meeting to be conveyed.

But for those residents who do go to this meeting, ask the police chief this: "what are you doing to stop these robberies so that they never happen again?" .. it will most interesting to hear his answer.

Like this comment
Posted by TO: Use-More-Digital-Technology
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2011 at 10:56 am

I think you should take the time to attend this community meeting. You may get a great deal of your questions answered.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Palo Verde School

on Sep 26, 2017 at 6:49 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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