Police: Person used phone to photograph woman in shower

Palo Alto police say prowler may have taken shot through home's bathroom window

A prowler walked up to an open bathroom window in the Ventura neighborhood and used a cell phone to photograph a woman taking a shower Friday night, June 12, Palo Alto police said.

Officers received a call at about 10 p.m. from a woman who said that someone had just used a phone to take a shot of her through her bathroom window. Police responded to her home in the 300 block of Olive Avenue but were unable to find the person, according to a police statement.

Police said the victim, a woman in her 30s, was showering when she noticed a cell phone outside the open window. When she shouted out the window, the phone disappeared and she heard footsteps, police said. Another resident ran outside but did not find the person who had been taking the photo.

Police believe the prowler approached the window through an adjacent driveway and did not enter the victim's enclosed yard. They do not have the suspect's description at this time and are not aware of any similar incidents occurring recently in Palo Alto or in neighboring cities.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the department's free mobile app, downloadable at or

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3 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Ventura
on Jun 16, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Can the cops check cell phone records to see who was prowling that neighborhood at that time? Or check iCloud to look for suspicious uploads?

4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 16, 2015 at 4:19 pm

Perhaps it was one of her neighbors. With Airbnb you will never know who lives next to you. I have neighbors that have people coming over all the time and I have no clue who they are. The good news is that all of them are being recorded as they walk by my house.

9 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 16, 2015 at 5:21 pm

I don't think Airbnb is the problem. A Palo Alto address, or one in the Bay Area, is no guarantee of better behavior than Airbnb folks.

Perhaps installing a Netgear Arlo wireless security camera system, or similar, would be a good preventative measure? At the very least, it could provide an image of the miscreant. It is unfortunate that people need to resort to such measures.

6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 16, 2015 at 10:15 pm

Really? Can you honestly say that you feel safe living next to Airbnb with all the strangers moving in&out right under your nose?

7 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 16, 2015 at 10:35 pm

@Resident, there are a lot of sketchy people in Palo Alto anyway, a few home grown, and quite a few others from various points around the Bay Area. That was true long before Airbnb took off. The notion that all outsiders are scary and dangerous, and that all Palo Altans are "safe", is a very Palo Alto notion, and also very mistaken. Regardless of who where the peeping tom lives, a security camera is a good idea.

6 people like this
Posted by Know Your Neighbors
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2015 at 11:40 pm


I think you miss the point that knowing your neighbors and watching out for each other is a critical crime deterrent. AirBnB's rob us of that neighborhood opportunity.

It is not only Palo Altans that benefit by having regular, full time neighbors, but don't let that get in the way of bashing Palo Alto.

1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2015 at 8:04 am

Knowing neighbors is an obvious thing to do. Unfortunately, I have some neighbors who are more difficult to get to know than others.

Being neighborly has nothing to do with how long they are staying in the area. A friendly wave and greeting, should be the norm. If you start then most people will respond.

Remember that neighborliness works both ways, don't expect new neighbors to make the first move - anyone can. Let them know they have moved into a friendly neighborhood.

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

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