A security guard at the 379 University Ave. store called police on June 21 shortly before 6 p.m. to report the theft, which took place while the luxury consignment store near Waverley Street was open. Officers responded immediately but the men had already fled, Palo Alto police said in a press release.
Five men entered the store and began ripping handbags from security cables, according to police. The store's on-duty security officer, who is in his 30s, attempted to block their exit, but the group pushed him out of the way.
The security officer followed them out of the store, where he was confronted by two other men who had stayed outside during the theft. One man demanded the other to "pull the gun" and the second man allegedly told the security officer, "Don't make me pull the gun." The security officer didn't see a weapon, police said.
The seven men ran east on University Avenue. The security officer reported hearing tires screeching from vehicles on Waverley Street, but didn't see them
Employees estimated the group stole about 20 handbags with a total value of more than $50,000, police said.
Palo Alto officers are working with regional law enforcement agencies to find out if the same group of individuals might be connected to any similar thefts in other cities, police said.
Anyone with information about Monday's theft is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.
County rescinds May 18 workplace order
Santa Clara County leaders announced on Monday that they are rescinding a May 18 order that regulated COVID-19 vaccination data and other requirements for businesses and offices.
Because new rules from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) are in place, which governs businesses, the county's order is no longer necessary, county Counsel James Williams said.
The county's May 18 health order required all businesses and government entities to determine the vaccination status of their personnel, either through simple self-reporting or proof of a COVID-19 vaccination card from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Now, the county will follow Cal/OSHA regulations, which likewise require businesses to document their employees' vaccination status, but don't specify a particular method. The employer must also keep a confidential record of the vaccination status for any employee not wearing a face covering indoors.
Face coverings are still required under California Department of Public Health rules, regardless of vaccination status, in health care settings, at schools, child care and youth settings, on public transit, in jails and correctional facilities and at homeless and emergency shelters.
Williams said the county's May 18 order currently remains in place only for businesses or government entities that have not yet completed two rounds of "ascertainment of vaccination status" of their personnel. If those businesses and agencies complete the second round, the May 18 order no longer applies to them.
State launched digital vaccination records
Vaccinated state residents can now access their vaccine record digitally through a tool introduced on June 18 by California's Department of Public Health and Department of Technology.
The digital record can be accessed at myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov and requires residents to input their name, date of birth, phone number or email address and a four-digit PIN.
Users will then receive a link to their digital record, which has the same information as the physical Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination record card given out when people receive their shots, as well as a QR code that can be scanned to show the same information.
Officials with the two departments stressed that the digital record would not be used as a so-called vaccine passport and is an alternative way for vaccinated residents to confirm their status when entering a business or event.
Vaccinated people who need to correct or update their vaccination record can do so at cdph.ca.gov/covidvaccinerecord or contact the state's COVID-19 hotline at 833-422-4255.
—Bay City News Service
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