The robbery occurred shortly after 1 a.m. on April 7 in the 700 block of Sutter Avenue, just off of Middlefield Road, according to a police news release.
A police investigation revealed that the man met the woman online and invited her to his home. Shortly after she came to the residence, the man heard a knock at his door. When he opened the door, a man brandishing a silver handgun entered the house and took a laptop computer and an envelope containing several thousand dollars. The armed man and the woman then left together, according to police.
The resident could not say whether they left in the same car, which direction they fled to or which vehicle or vehicles they used.
Police believe the armed man and the woman were working in concert, the news release stated. There have been no similar incidents reported recently in Palo Alto, according to the police.
Audit: Flaws in city's oversight of energy contracts
Palo Alto spends more than $60 million every year to fulfill its pledge of buying carbon-free electricity, but the city's oversight of these contracts has some room for improvement, a recent audit has found.
Baker Tilly, the firm that functions as Palo Alto's city auditor, conducted a deep dive last year into the city's power purchase agreements, multiyear contracts that Palo Alto Utilities relies on to fulfill its goal of providing carbon-free electricity to local businesses and residents. The city currently has 15 such contracts in place: six for solar power, five for biogas (natural gas that is produced from landfills), two for wind energy and two for hydroelectric power.
On Monday night, the City Council is scheduled to approve the Baker Tilly audit, which concluded that the Utilities Department falls short in several areas when it comes to ensuring that the companies that provide the city with power comply with all the provisions of the purchase agreements.
City Auditor Kyle O'Rourke, who serves as principal for public sector advisory at Baker Tilly, said the firm decided to conduct the review both because of the large dollar amount that the power purchase agreements represent and because of their central role in helping the city meet its sustainability goals. Carbon neutral electricity is a critical component of Palo Alto's movement to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2030, with 1990 as the baseline.
Police investigate two different hate crimes
Police are investigating two different cases of vandalism in Palo Alto yards as hate crimes.
In the first incident, a Palo Alto woman called police on April 5 to report that the Black Lives Matter sign in her front yard had been defaced by someone who replaced the word "Black" with "Asian," prompting the Police Department to investigate the matter as a hate crime, the agency said.
The sign, which was at the resident's home in the 3300 block of Park Boulevard in the Ventura neighborhood, was vandalized between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., according to a police press release.
An adhesive was used to cover the word "Black" with a piece of paper bearing the word "Asian." The resident attempted to remove the paper but it destroyed the original sign, which she valued at $10, police said. This was the third time that the sign had been tampered with. The prior cases occurred October 2021 and February 2022. Both were also documented by police as hate incidents.
In a different incident, a resident from Old Palo Alto reported on April 7 that her Ukrainian flags had been torn down and left in the yard rolled up with feces. The resident, who lives near the 1400 block of Alma Street, not far from the Churchill Avenue intersection, made the discovery around 10 a.m., according to a press release.
"That's a sick mind," the resident told the Weekly. "I'm not going to fight hatred with hatred."
In a Nextdoor post on Thursday, the resident offered Ukrainian flags to those who wanted to display them in their yards.
"The response to this is for me to make many, many Ukraine flags for display in Palo Alto," she wrote. "Please let me know if you would like a Ukraine flag to display in solidarity with the Ukraine people who are suffering atrocities of Russia's invasion."
—Sue Dremann and Lloyd Lee
This story contains 753 words.
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