Alleged vandals caught in the act in Menlo Park

Police arrest three for smashing windshields and blowing up mailboxes

A daylong spree of smashing car windows in Menlo Park came to an abrupt end when police responded to a call of vandalism in progress Monday night, June 25.

At the scene: A red Ford 2002 pickup truck like the one spotted at the scenes of earlier crimes, and two suspects. A third suspect turned up during the course of the investigation, Menlo Park police said.

Police spokeswoman Nicole Acker said investigators are still figuring out whether the trio carried out all the recent attacks on inanimate objects in Menlo Park: Eight shattered car windows on Monday alone by BB gun; another five windshields broken last week; and four mailboxes blown up or beaten during the past two weeks.

One mailbox belonged to the new Menlo Park home of Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, sources said. The firecracker not only destroyed the box, but also the mail, leading some to wonder whether the crime could be charged as a federal offense.

Police said the crimes appeared random.

Ryan Anthony Mattei, 18, was arrested around 9 p.m., then released pending further investigation. Police said his two companions, a 13-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy, were taken into custody and then released to their parents after admitting to several incidents of vandalism.

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Like this comment
Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm

You can see the idjit sitting in his car on his Facebook page. Smart, dude. Sell your precious truck to pay back all of those whose property you damaged.

Like this comment
Posted by uhl
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2012 at 7:41 pm

the 18 year old in this story is an adult. his parents are probably equally to blame, the federal crime aspect is unfortunate but seems proper, even if it was unintentional

Like this comment
Posted by Toady
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 27, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Yep - damaging a mail box is a federal offense.

Nice going, dudes.

Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 27, 2012 at 11:50 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Like this comment
Posted by mug shot?
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 28, 2012 at 9:02 am

If he has been released from jail, please post a mug shot so we can watch out for him in our neighborhood.

Like this comment
Posted by Old Town Paly Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 28, 2012 at 11:04 am

If this crime / vandalism was done by an adult **wait, 18 is an adult, right?** there would be no question to have a federal offense for tampering with someone's mail...really should be a no brainer! Charge him! Luckily, there were no injuries due to this pranking. We must teach the kids that there ARE consequences to your actions.....don't get soft now just because this could be considered a prank. Stick to the offense...don't be offensive **Steve** by being racist!! Your character flaws are shinning through the posts you make buddy.

Like this comment
Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Oh for God's sake...can anything ever be addressed on this forum without turning to racism? The facts: Creeps did illegal acts. Creeps can, and do, come from all races. Throw the book at them now before they become creepier and do worse things. If underage, their parents should be held liable too. Make them pay, make them do major community service and make them ACCOUNTABLE for their crime.

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

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