News

Man smashes windows at 12 businesses during downtown vandalism rampage

Police estimate string of incidents caused over $100K in damage

Multiple businesses were found with smashed glass windows and doors in downtown Palo Alto on Jan. 31, 2022. Map by Jamey Padojino.

A man was arrested in downtown Palo Alto early Monday morning after he allegedly went on a window-smashing spree that damaged 12 businesses and caused damages in excess of $100,000, police said.

Palo Alto police received a report of a man who allegedly kicked in the door at SliderBar restaurant in the 300 block of University Avenue shortly before 4 a.m. The caller reported that other businesses in the immediate vicinity also had broken windows, according to a police press release.

Officers immediately responded and located the man on Bryant Street and Lytton Avenue, where other businesses had broken windows. They arrested the man without incident at 3:58 a.m., they said

The vandalized businesses were in a three-block area within University and Lytton avenues between Bryant and Cowper streets. They included SliderBar at 324 University Ave.; Siam Royal, 338 University Ave.; the Apple store, 340 University Ave.; Design Within Reach, 355 University Ave.; Union Bank, 400 University Ave.; Yayoi, 403 University Ave.; Lululemon Athletica, 432 University Ave.; Form Fitness, 445 Bryant St.; Apercen Partners LLC, 314 Lytton Ave.; and commercial properties at 255, 265, and 390 Lytton Ave.

None of the properties appeared to have been burglarized. Initial replacement costs from the various businesses are still being evaluated, but police estimated the total damage to be well in excess of $100,000.

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The damage caused some businesses to temporarily shut down. The hardest hit were businesses located along the 300 and 400 blocks of University Avenue between Bryant and Cowper streets.

At Design Within Reach, large windows were shattered and a glass door was completely destroyed, leaving inch-thick cubes of aquamarine-colored safety glass covering the entryway. Apple's retail store also sustained significant damage. Multiple strikes by a heavy object left round indentations on the glass door. An elaborate spider web of cracks radiated along an entire window of the soaring glass-fronted edifice from the ground to the roofline.

Smashed glass at Design Within Reach at 355 University Ave. in Palo Alto on Jan. 31, 2022. Photo by Sue Dremann.

Staff at Apple said the store would likely remain closed until at least noon or later while they awaited a replacement window.

At Siam Royal, owner Judy Vasa said the smashed front door would probably force the business to temporarily close for the safety of her patrons. She learned about the vandalism when she arrived at the store on Monday morning.

"It's so hard right now, and it keeps coming and coming," she said of setbacks such as loss of business from the pandemic and now the lost revenue from having to close the restaurant and replace the door. "We've been here 30 years, and this is the first time this has happened."

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A jagged pane of glass hung from the SliderBar restaurant's front door. The eatery remained dark until late Monday morning when workers began sweeping up glass.

A smashed glass window at Lululemon Athletica at 432 University Ave. in Palo Alto on Jan. 31, 2022. Photo by Sue Dremann.

Union Bank lost an entire window but had removed all of the glass and was open for business. Likewise, Lululemon Athletica, which also sustained a cracked window, also welcomed customers inside its store on Monday.

Darlene Yaplee, a customer at Form Fitness, said she noticed the window was broken when she went for her workout. It was sad to see how much damage one person can do, she said.

"It's unfortunate. It's been a hard enough couple of years with COVID-19. Many of these are small businesses," she said.

Brycen Michael, who works at Form Fitness, said he arrived at 5:30 a.m. to find the window was broken. Police had told him they arrested someone. The business wouldn't be impacted by the broken window, he said.

Police believe the man, 37-year-old Joshua Sinclair Kahan of Palo Alto, used physical force or various items, such as rocks and trash can lids, to break the windows in a very short period of time. His motive for breaking the windows is unknown.

Palo Alto resident Joshua Sinclair Kahan has been charged with 13 counts of felony vandalism for smashing downtown store windows. Courtesy Palo Alto Police Department.

He was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of felony vandalism. Police also booked him for three outstanding arrest warrants: felony evading and misdemeanor battery from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, and a misdemeanor violation of a court order from the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.

On Tuesday, Kahan was charged with 13 counts of felony vandalism. He was arraigned on the charges on Wednesday before Judge Brian Buckelew, who set bail at $200,000 in the vandalism case and another $200,000 on the felony evasion case, for which he had been recently placed on probation. In that case, Kahan evaded a police officer while driving with wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Steve Dal Porto said.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.

Editor's note: The name and photo of the defendant was added to the story on Feb. 2, after the district attorney filed charges in the case. Read our publishing guidelines.

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Sue Dremann
 
Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Man smashes windows at 12 businesses during downtown vandalism rampage

Police estimate string of incidents caused over $100K in damage

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Jan 31, 2022, 3:31 pm
Updated: Wed, Feb 2, 2022, 6:17 pm

A man was arrested in downtown Palo Alto early Monday morning after he allegedly went on a window-smashing spree that damaged 12 businesses and caused damages in excess of $100,000, police said.

Palo Alto police received a report of a man who allegedly kicked in the door at SliderBar restaurant in the 300 block of University Avenue shortly before 4 a.m. The caller reported that other businesses in the immediate vicinity also had broken windows, according to a police press release.

Officers immediately responded and located the man on Bryant Street and Lytton Avenue, where other businesses had broken windows. They arrested the man without incident at 3:58 a.m., they said

The vandalized businesses were in a three-block area within University and Lytton avenues between Bryant and Cowper streets. They included SliderBar at 324 University Ave.; Siam Royal, 338 University Ave.; the Apple store, 340 University Ave.; Design Within Reach, 355 University Ave.; Union Bank, 400 University Ave.; Yayoi, 403 University Ave.; Lululemon Athletica, 432 University Ave.; Form Fitness, 445 Bryant St.; Apercen Partners LLC, 314 Lytton Ave.; and commercial properties at 255, 265, and 390 Lytton Ave.

None of the properties appeared to have been burglarized. Initial replacement costs from the various businesses are still being evaluated, but police estimated the total damage to be well in excess of $100,000.

The damage caused some businesses to temporarily shut down. The hardest hit were businesses located along the 300 and 400 blocks of University Avenue between Bryant and Cowper streets.

At Design Within Reach, large windows were shattered and a glass door was completely destroyed, leaving inch-thick cubes of aquamarine-colored safety glass covering the entryway. Apple's retail store also sustained significant damage. Multiple strikes by a heavy object left round indentations on the glass door. An elaborate spider web of cracks radiated along an entire window of the soaring glass-fronted edifice from the ground to the roofline.

Staff at Apple said the store would likely remain closed until at least noon or later while they awaited a replacement window.

At Siam Royal, owner Judy Vasa said the smashed front door would probably force the business to temporarily close for the safety of her patrons. She learned about the vandalism when she arrived at the store on Monday morning.

"It's so hard right now, and it keeps coming and coming," she said of setbacks such as loss of business from the pandemic and now the lost revenue from having to close the restaurant and replace the door. "We've been here 30 years, and this is the first time this has happened."

A jagged pane of glass hung from the SliderBar restaurant's front door. The eatery remained dark until late Monday morning when workers began sweeping up glass.

Union Bank lost an entire window but had removed all of the glass and was open for business. Likewise, Lululemon Athletica, which also sustained a cracked window, also welcomed customers inside its store on Monday.

Darlene Yaplee, a customer at Form Fitness, said she noticed the window was broken when she went for her workout. It was sad to see how much damage one person can do, she said.

"It's unfortunate. It's been a hard enough couple of years with COVID-19. Many of these are small businesses," she said.

Brycen Michael, who works at Form Fitness, said he arrived at 5:30 a.m. to find the window was broken. Police had told him they arrested someone. The business wouldn't be impacted by the broken window, he said.

Police believe the man, 37-year-old Joshua Sinclair Kahan of Palo Alto, used physical force or various items, such as rocks and trash can lids, to break the windows in a very short period of time. His motive for breaking the windows is unknown.

He was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of felony vandalism. Police also booked him for three outstanding arrest warrants: felony evading and misdemeanor battery from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, and a misdemeanor violation of a court order from the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.

On Tuesday, Kahan was charged with 13 counts of felony vandalism. He was arraigned on the charges on Wednesday before Judge Brian Buckelew, who set bail at $200,000 in the vandalism case and another $200,000 on the felony evasion case, for which he had been recently placed on probation. In that case, Kahan evaded a police officer while driving with wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Steve Dal Porto said.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.

Editor's note: The name and photo of the defendant was added to the story on Feb. 2, after the district attorney filed charges in the case. Read our publishing guidelines.

Comments

ndn
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jan 31, 2022 at 3:37 pm
ndn, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jan 31, 2022 at 3:37 pm

The Wells Fargo Bank on Waverly also had a window smashed.


Palo Alto well-wisher
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jan 31, 2022 at 4:48 pm
Palo Alto well-wisher, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jan 31, 2022 at 4:48 pm

Why can't we finally install cameras around the dowtown at least? The police should not be relying on random callers to learn about such horrific acts of vandalism. Given how close the police department is located to the University Ave, they could have been there in half a minute. So sad for all the businesses that suffered.


felix
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2022 at 7:21 pm
felix, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jan 31, 2022 at 7:21 pm

Surveillance 24/7 of the public is repugnant and the City can’t do that - we have laws about that.

I feel bad that this happened. My family owned a retail business for years in town with big display windows, so I don’t take what happened lightly. It is upsetting, and a hassle to deal with. It’s good that insurance will cover the costs of replacement and likely time closed.



Moctod
Registered user
University South
on Jan 31, 2022 at 9:36 pm
Moctod, University South
Registered user
on Jan 31, 2022 at 9:36 pm

How about some information regarding this latest addition to our street residents?


Seer
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 31, 2022 at 11:01 pm
Seer, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jan 31, 2022 at 11:01 pm

He said he was depressed. There's nothing to be depressed about, civilizations have times of trouble, that's as old as civilization itself. Roll with it.


Anneke
Registered user
Professorville
on Feb 1, 2022 at 9:28 am
Anneke, Professorville
Registered user
on Feb 1, 2022 at 9:28 am

The world is angry!

I am so sad about all the damage this person caused. We are loyal patrons of Siam Royal, and we respect Judy and Zen, who work so hard to make their restaurant successful. If this person has any funding in his bank account, he should be made to pay for the damage immediately.


Kevin Wu
Registered user
another community
on Feb 1, 2022 at 11:33 am
Kevin Wu, another community
Registered user
on Feb 1, 2022 at 11:33 am

America is undergoing a mass mental health crisis spurred by the pandemic, political polarization, and the demise of perceived quality of life issues.

Crime is on the upswing not only in Palo Alto but all over the entire United States.

How we will address and resolve these matters is a reflection on our society as a whole.


jr1
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Feb 1, 2022 at 11:44 am
jr1, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Feb 1, 2022 at 11:44 am

He should be charge with 12 counts of felony vandalism. He may have problems, that is no excuse to damage property.


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Feb 1, 2022 at 11:59 am
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Feb 1, 2022 at 11:59 am

With our civilization slowly slipping away, this will be a good case to watch with an eye toward this year's DA election. If Rosen can't bring himself to fully charge this violent man for his crimes, then Rosen will need to be removed by the voters, to make room for someone who can do their job properly (such as Daniel Chung perhaps).


jhskrh
Registered user
Mountain View
on Feb 1, 2022 at 2:16 pm
jhskrh, Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 1, 2022 at 2:16 pm
jhskrh
Registered user
Community Center
on Feb 1, 2022 at 2:22 pm
jhskrh, Community Center
Registered user
on Feb 1, 2022 at 2:22 pm

His name is Joshua Sinclair Kahan, his identity widely reported by nearly every other news outlet. Web Link


Pops9
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 1, 2022 at 2:25 pm
Pops9, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Feb 1, 2022 at 2:25 pm

Curious whether he is out on bail given the extensive nature of his crime and his warrants. It would be great to see PA Online start to track not just arrests but whether people who continue to commit serious crimes are back on the street in 5 hours.


TorreyaMan
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Feb 1, 2022 at 2:48 pm
TorreyaMan, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Feb 1, 2022 at 2:48 pm

As just one example, there are security cameras all around London. I've been there quite a few times and never heard anyone complain.


Susan C Brodsky
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 1, 2022 at 10:01 pm
Susan C Brodsky, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Feb 1, 2022 at 10:01 pm

I am upset about this also. Being depressed is no excuse. And I don't believe that is the reason. He's just mad. Too bad! You don't take your problems out on others! He should be at least be put in jail for 5 years. He can't be hurting other people's property while he is locked up, and maybe that would teach him a good lesson. He deserves jail time anyway for his other felonies. I wish he could be "slapped up" by other people so he would learn what it feels like. I feel that people need to pay for their crimes in whatever manner is deemed well and good by society. There is no way that this man should go unpunished. Don't let him out! Our laws are too lenient. People should be afraid to commit crimes, fearing what would happen to them if they did. I agree that we should have cameras, at least downtown. And Apple has been hit too many times with too many crimes. Where are the police and why are they not policing, driving up and down the business streets at least, instead of assuming everything everywhere is okay. We need them to be doing their jobs. I can't believe other drivers did not see this guy and did not report what this idiot was doing.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 1, 2022 at 11:57 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Feb 1, 2022 at 11:57 pm

"Curious whether he is out on bail given the extensive nature of his crime and his warrants. It would be great to see PA Online start to track not just arrests but whether people who continue to commit serious crimes are back on the street in 5 hours."

Me, too. I'm tired of reading about perps who are immediately released to keep committing crimes while awaiting their trials for all their previous charges.

I was never a law-and-order nut but it's worrisome reading how rare it is for a a judge's to oppose the prosecutor's probation recommendation for someone found guilty of a 4-year crime spree threatening dozens of people. When did this become unusual?? What does it take to get repeat offenders off the streets?

We deserve better. Listen to the public comment from the Altaire residents at Monday's CC meeting about how they've been repeatedly robbed, terrorized by the same perps and had to resort to a petition!


John
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 2, 2022 at 6:07 am
John, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Feb 2, 2022 at 6:07 am

Its amazing, that after years watching my neighbors repeatedly vote for soft on crime measures (AB109, Prop 47, Prop 57) and soft on crime DAs and support cutting our police budget by 20%/ 15 positions... to be surprised at the results. Crime is NOT surging everywhere. It's surging where it is tacitly permitted. The police are demoralized and fleeing our city too. I don't blame them one bit.


ndn
Registered user
Downtown North
on Feb 2, 2022 at 8:36 am
ndn, Downtown North
Registered user
on Feb 2, 2022 at 8:36 am

This has nothing to do with being soft or hard on crime. This is a disturbed individual who needs to have a compulsory civil confinement (so that the rest of us can be safe), treatment and legal penalties as appropriate.
Cameras downtown? NO!


Book Em
Registered user
Palo Verde School
on Feb 2, 2022 at 8:54 am
Book Em, Palo Verde School
Registered user
on Feb 2, 2022 at 8:54 am

Clearly a mental health issue. Not a police issue.

Just repeating what was said when Newsom was gallivanting around Palo Alto dishing out $6B to EV auto manufacturers who have no shortage of available capital.

Spend that money on developing a statewide mental health system including clinics, short term inpatient treatment, and (yes, I am saying it) long-term housing of chronic mental health patients. Spend this $6B on these steps and we will see a demonstrable improvement in homelessness, crime, and drug abuse. I'm pointing to you Gavin...have some real courage.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2022 at 9:25 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 2, 2022 at 9:25 am

Regardless of whether this was due to a mental health issue or not, people doing this sort of thing must be stopped. It is sad that in our society we are having people committing suicide by cop, suicide by vehicle, suicide by train, or whatever and it is messing with the minds and lives of those who inadvertantly do it. Who wants to be the driver who hits a suicidal person on the highway and who wants to be the owner of a business who has windows destroyed by someone who loses their sanity because they have had a bad day.

We have to start being tough on crime and tough on violence which often is going to mean tough on mental health issues. Let's get to basics. Getting violent criminals off the streets and getting help for those with serious mental issues off the streets is good for everyone. Giving someone a pass because they are considered victims helps nobody. It doesn't help them and it doesn't help society. Throwing money around isn't doing it. Getting these people off the streets and getting them the help they need in a safe living condition just might.


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