News

Man arrested after opening wrong car door

Security guard calls Palo Alto police after suspicious stranger tries to enter his car in the early morning

There can sometimes be good surprises at 2:30 a.m., but on March 31, Curtis Edward Jordan Jr. did not get one of them.

The 52-year-old East Palo Alto man was allegedly trying to burglarize parked cars in the Crescent Park neighborhood of Palo Alto when he opened the door of an SUV – only to find a private security officer sitting inside, according to the Palo Alto Police Department.


Curtis Edward Jordan Jr. Photo courtesy Palo Alto Police Department.
Jordan allegedly took off running, and the security guard called 911, the press announcement states.

Officers arrived at the 1400 block of Hamilton Ave., where the security guard's unmarked car was parked, and then found Jordan a few minutes later and a few blocks away, on Edgewood Drive at Newell Road, police stated.

He was taken into custody without incident.

The security guard told investigators that he'd seen Jordan walking down the street, trying to open the doors of parked vehicles. Then Jordan arrived at the guard's car.

Jordan was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for the felony of attempted auto burglary and the misdemeanor of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police are asking that anyone with information about this incident call the dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through a free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

Comments

23 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 4, 2016 at 10:39 pm

Some of those private undercover security guards sitting in cars parked on the street look really creepy if you walk by them, but I suppose they serve their purpose.


27 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2016 at 8:03 am

I wonder what the security guards must think of residents who think they look creepy and supposedly serve their purpose. Probably that those residents look pretentious and ungrateful. I suppose books can sometimes be judged by their cover.


16 people like this
Posted by Fred
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 5, 2016 at 9:10 am

Everyone should be suspicious of an adult sitting in a car in their neighborhood for hours watching people. There is nothing pretentious about being wary and watching out for ones neighbors. That's whole point of neighborhood watch groups. Why should anyone have to show gratitude to a paid security guard? They are not volunteering.


21 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 5, 2016 at 10:53 am

These private plainclothes guards don't just watch everyone on the sidewalk, they take pictures of people, too. I don't know how they decide who to take pictures of, but you can probably guess how profiling works.


49 people like this
Posted by Midtown Citizen
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 5, 2016 at 11:11 am

Midtown Citizen is a registered user.

About 20 years ago, we owned a blue Ford Taurus. At that time, about every 5th car on the road seemed to be a blue Ford Taurus. One St. Patrick's Day, we were at my in-laws in the Central Valley, a town in which Budweiser rules and imported beer comes from as far away as Mexico. Trying to find some Irish beer, I drove to a few liquor stores, only to leave empty-handed. Frustrated and distracted, I opened my car door and sat down, only to be hit by the strong smell of stale cigarette smoke permeating my car. I was dumbfounded: someone had gotten into my car in the 5 minutes I had been inside. I started to look to see if anything had been taken, when I noticed that this jerk had also hung one of those car fresheners from my rear-view mirror. My brain kind of stumbled on this contradiction: why would a thief get into my car, but be nice enough to hang an air freshener? It made no sense. Then I saw to my right another blue Ford Taurus; did the guy get into my car by mistake? Then I saw to my left a guy standing there, looking at me, kind of mystified, kind of pissed. Then I realized there were no car seats in the back of my car. The penny finally dropped and I realized I was the jerk getting into the wrong car. That whole thought process probably took 15 seconds, but it seemed like 30 minutes. I wasn't even old then.


57 people like this
Posted by Understanding
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 5, 2016 at 11:16 am

Profiling is a must in this day and age ...
If my race or nationality or ethnic group was constantly causing problems or crimes, yes, i would expect to be profiled too.
It is unfortunate, but that is what this world came to.


18 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 5, 2016 at 11:16 am

1400 block of Hamilton? Most likely Zuckerberg's private security team.


5 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 5, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Are security guards stationed in all Palo Alto neighborhoods or only those that have higher property values?

It is agreed with those that have said it is creepy to walk by a car, night or day, with a man or woman sitting in a car and watching everyone going by.


11 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 5, 2016 at 1:24 pm

@Curious - these private plainclothes security guards are hired by local billionaires to sit in cars outside of their homes. They are "stationed" in various neighborhoods, but obviously only where billionaires live. Some of these billionaires have teams of dozens of private guards.


2 people like this
Posted by Super
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 5, 2016 at 1:24 pm

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 5, 2016 at 1:25 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

@Midtown Citizen
I really enjoyed your post and I've had related experiences. I own a 2004 Camry LE...color...desert sand. Now I know there are millions of others who also own that same make and model with the same paint color. Toyota must have gotten a good deal on that paint color that year. Why else would 80% of their production that year be painted 'desert sand'? I have tried to get into other people's cars and I'm sure many people have tried to get into mine as well. In fact, one lady did at Midtown CVS. I came out of the store, got into my car, and was ready to leave when a lady rushed out of the store and came over to me. She had gone into the store to ask the clerk if she had left her keys there or if anyone had found them and turned them in. The reason she came over to talk to me was the fact she had actually gotten into my car and couldn't find her keys. So, she asked me to take a look under the seats, and in between the seats, to see if her keys were there. She even helped me look. But to no avail. I wished her well on her continued search of her keys and then I left with a big smile on my face. I'll bet there are many more people who could write stories like this.


3 people like this
Posted by Cid Young
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2016 at 1:43 pm

I was at a RiteAid store when on a visit to Orlando for a Convention and relaized I needed Sunblock which I'd forgotten to pack. Upon leaving the store with my purchase, I tried to get into a red car that was parked at the curb. When I opened the passenger door a startled fellow (Probably a boyfriend or husband wating for a clerk inside to get off duty as the store was about to close) sat up from his reclining position as I pulled the right door open and started to sit down. My friend who was driving the red rental car we arrived in (which was right next to the occupied red car) just stood on the curb laughing at my stpidity and startled look! We cerainly had a good laugh, as it ended well. I felt sory for the poor guy whose car I almost climbed into. LOL


11 people like this
Posted by Retired Teacher
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 5, 2016 at 1:51 pm

Fred, a resident of Barron Park,

There's an old-fashioned idea--maybe today we might call it an outdated meme--that we should thank people, however humble their station, however low their pay, for simply doing their job well.

There's another old-fashioned idea that maybe people from EPA who are trying to pick up a few bucks from unlocked cars in PA are maybe not living in a society where everyone has an equal chance to do well, find a decent job, live a good and decent life.

A little compassion goes a long way in a not-so-friendly and supportive world...


7 people like this
Posted by Physician and mom of 3
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm

I was picking up cupcakes at Kara's on El Camino, for my daughter's bday. We have a 2010 Red Subaru Forester, one of countless red Subaru Foresters. I was talking on my cell phone telling the elementary school I was coming, and opened up the back door of the red car, and while looking up tossed the boxes of cupcakes in the rear passenger seat that I had made sure was clear of toys/books. To my surprise, there was a 60-ish gentleman who was right there IN the rear passenger seat saying, "wrong car, wrong car, WRONG CAR!" Finally it registered to me that the voice was not coming from the secretary at the elementary school, as it was far too deep... then I saw him, rather irritated, holding the boxes of cupcakes in his lap right on top of the large novel that he was reading. I froze, stuttered an apology, and he handed back the cupcakes. My car was right next to it. My face was flushed for some time as I drove off.


7 people like this
Posted by Fred
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 5, 2016 at 4:28 pm

@retiredteacher: Must be nice to be in a position where you can humbly look down on people who pull in low wages. Maybe they should put that in the job description: "pays minimum wage + bonus: smug residents of Palo Alto will say 'thank you' often." This meme might be outdated because it's condescending. The other idea is an insult to all the decent hard working, honest citizens living in EPA who got lumped in with this thief.

A little humility goes a long way too.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 5, 2016 at 5:36 pm

This poor guy just happened to jump into the wrong car on accident (maybe he owns a similar SUV).However, I do not think that the drug paraphernalia, that they found at the jail, jumped into his pocket on accident.


3 people like this
Posted by Sea Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 5, 2016 at 6:16 pm

I say the heading is wrong.

This man opened a car door intentionally that does not belong to him.

Is it not true?

Respectfully


37 people like this
Posted by Incredulous
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 5, 2016 at 6:25 pm

To RETIRED TEACHER:

So you are keeping your car door always unlocked, with a few bucks displayed in plain view, so the less fortunate can pick them up when walking by?


Like this comment
Posted by Trumpet
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 5, 2016 at 7:18 pm

The solution is obvious: build a wall and make EPA pay for it.

:-)


Like this comment
Posted by Another wrong car story
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 5, 2016 at 9:23 pm

When I was in college there was someone who owned a car the same as mine but one year older. One night leaving the library I got in the car and started it, and only when I was about to back up did I notice it was not my car. Not only did we have the same car, we clearly had the same or very similar ignition cylinders. How crazy is that?!


2 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 5, 2016 at 9:37 pm

"The security guard told investigators that he'd seen Jordan walking down the street, trying to open the doors of parked vehicles. Then Jordan arrived at the guard's car."

This guy was walking around at 2:30 AM, opening doors. Opening one wrong door may be a mistake. Multiple doors? I doubt it.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Duveneck School
on Apr 6, 2016 at 12:14 pm

NAILED! This is great news!


19 people like this
Posted by Retired Teacher
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 7, 2016 at 11:02 am

Gosh, Fred, nice spin effort from the guy who didn't see any reason to thank someone for doing his or her low-wage job well! Our world would be better if we showed courtesy to everyone, regardless of income or position. And our world would be even better if we showed compassion for everyone, including people in jail and prison. No, it's not an insult to honest, hard-working people to care about wrongdoers. By the way, we could lessen crime if we had a more equal and supportive society.

As for you, Incredulous, no, I don't leave my car unlocked. Or my house. I do try to help others in responsible ways, which can include time and money, but can also include showing some empathy and compassion. You're using the straw man fallacy, which appears often in these threads.

Trumpet, nice little jibe! (I hope it's a jibe! Tell me it's a jibe...)


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

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