Arrest made in burglary at Duveneck

One man charged with burglary, six other people charged with possession of stolen property

Seven people have been linked to a school burglary that occurred in Palo Alto over the summer, police said today. Several computers stolen from Duveneck Elementary School at 705 Alester Ave. have been recovered, police said. (View press release)

In the July 25 burglary, someone forcibly entered the school and stole Apple laptops and iPad tablets, police said. The investigation led police to believe that 20-year-old Jaime Maldonaldo of Menlo Park was responsible for the burglary. Maldonado has been arrested and charged with burglary and possession of stolen property, police said.

Police named six other suspects who they said purchased several of the stolen computers. Gloria Cahuich, 37, of Menlo Park; Redwood City residents Yadira Cahuich, 33, and Antonio Garnica, 32; and Hayward residents Norma Palominos, 38, Giovanni Palominos, 20, and Stephaine Garcia, 20, have been charged with possession of stolen property, according to police.

— Bay City News Service

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Like this comment
Posted by Buy-At-Your-Own-Risk
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2011 at 10:31 am

Interesting that people are being called "suspects" for (presumably) buying second-hand computer equipment. Neither the article, nor the underlying press release for the Palo Alto Police, indicate clearly how many of the "suspects" actually were involved in the planning, and/or execution, of this robbery. The press release does seem to lump all of the people together, calling them "suspects", without providing any clear linkage between the burglary, and the subsequent disposal of the stolen electronic equipment.

It would seem that if you purchase something from any source, such as, say, Craig's List, or even the classified ads in a local throw-away paper, you can subsequently be charged with "possession of stolen goods". This little bit of information ought to be made clear by both the police, and every source of information about second-hand/used goods being offered for sale--such as the publishers of throw-away papers.

At any rate, this story is not well reported at the moment.

Like this comment
Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Dec 1, 2011 at 10:45 am

I believe if they purchased the stolen merchandise in any other way other than directly from the scumbag that stole them, that would have been reported, along with the usual caveats and warnings about Craigslist etc. Bottom line, STOP CONSORTING WITH CRIMINALS.

Like this comment
Posted by Oh, pleaze
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:37 am

Anyone who buys electronics from eBay, Craig's List, flea markets, any place other than a store realizes the items may be stolen.

Thanks, PAPD!

Like this comment
Posted by Duv Parent
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:54 am

Awesome PAPD!!

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Posted by root cause please
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm

As long as schools fail to secure these devices or the rooms in which they are located, we will waste taxpayer money on procuring these items and on police resources. There has never been a shortage of criminals willing to help themselves to poorly secured saleable goods, as evidenced by reports of rampant theft from schools. Opportunists are always present in our societal habitat. Should be once burned twice shy.

I hope we have good reason for using laptops and ipads in schools, they are much more easily stolen/transported and sold than unsexy old desktops.

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm

As a taxpayer who does not have an iPad (yet...owing to being careful with my own money) I am outraged at the periodic school thefts of these and similar valuables. My taxpayer dollars go to purchase luxury items for school children and school staff and then these items are treated cavalierly. I think school officials who fail to adequately secure valuable portable electronic items should have an official reprimand on their record. (Yes, often we DO read that the items were casually secured or even left out in the open.) Didn't we just read that a Menlo Park school had another robbery including a whole lot of Apple valuables? Schools are obviously targeted.

Like this comment
Posted by r
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Like this comment
Posted by back to r
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Dec 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Like this comment
Posted by daniel
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm

I always wondered why it's so easy to break into Palo Alto schools and still valuables like computers. Don't they have alarm systems linked to the police department which would bring a squad car over to the school being burglarized within minutes? What about CCTV? Our schools seem to be very easy targets.

Like this comment
Posted by Zelda
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Maybe these should be locked up at the Central Office on Churchill over the summer months, since the schools are not in session. Need better control on these items.

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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Anonymous - much of the technology in our schools was purchased using PTA funds (aka parent donations) not taxpayers $$.

Root cause - the schools buy laptops and iPads because they are portable and can be used in every classroom or the library, etc. Desktops stay put. A lot of the laptops are on carts which can be moved into a classroom allowing all the students to do research, use a software program, etc.

As far as securing the equipment, it is ridiculous that such valuable items sit in an empty, easy to break in to school especially during the summer. We need to secure these items well and perhaps put cameras in the room they are stored.

Like this comment
Posted by JLS Parent
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Dec 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm

I have a student who has two classes at JLS in the computer storage room. It is the most secure, locked room in the school, and has become a dumping ground for out of date technology that no one uses, or knows what to do with. It is also where laptop carts, etc. are stored. It is also used as a classroom for upwards of 30 students at a time. It is hard to walk around the classroom as we discovered on back to school night because of all the equipment there.

In our overcrowded schools, finding space to keep this technology safe and locked away is a big problem. The theory of locking it away somewhere safe is good. The practice is that we don't have the space that all this technology needs to be locked away safely and in many instances I am not sure if the school has an inventory of what is stored there anyway. With the speed that technology becomes obsolete, in many cases the need to change the equipment to keep it updated means that the replacement equipment after a theft is far superior to what was stolen.

Sad but true.

Like this comment
Posted by HawkeyePierce
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 1, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Are these expensive electronic items insured, does anyone know?

Like this comment
Posted by Buy-At-Your-Own-Risk
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2011 at 9:12 am

> Anonymous - much of the technology in our schools was
> purchased using PTA funds (aka parent donations) not taxpayers $$.

The PAUSD has a very extensive purchase/refurbishment plan using taxpayer funds. This was approved by the voters within the past 2-3 years. Additionally, the so-called "Mandarin Immersion" program was supposed to be milking the Federal taxpayers for a goodly number of handheld computing devices via the initial grant from the Department of Education.

It is a tragedy that so few in this community demonstrate so much ignorance about the fundamentals of school financing, much less being even remotely aware of any of the details of yearly budget issues.

While PTAs may have contributed some money for some electronics, they are by no means the primary source of funds. It's a shame, however, that the PTAs remain silent when it is clear that teachers and staff are not shutting the windows/doors in their classrooms and buildings correctly.

The massive Measure A ($375M) bond that was passed a couple of years ago had provisions for electronic surveillance equipment. Prop.39 elections require that a list of projects be identified by the ballot language. It's amazing that once the bond authority was approved, the list of projects was conveniently forgotten.

Like this comment
Posted by monarch
a resident of Ventura
on Dec 2, 2011 at 3:37 pm

now we know. paloalto online is not the news source to trust. they cover up stories people need to know.

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