News Digest | November 11, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - November 11, 2022

News Digest

Police report string of 'dinner time' burglaries

The Palo Alto Police Department is warning residents of a new crime trend in which burglars are breaking into homes during the evening hours and stealing jewelry and other valuable belongings.

Police said in a statement on Saturday that there have been a total of 11 residential burglaries since Oct. 9 that fit the trend. Burglars are targeting unoccupied homes between the hours of 7 and 9 p.m., smashing glass doors in rear yards to get inside, and rummaging through rooms. They appear to be focused on jewelry and safes, police said.

In one incident, a locked gun safe with firearms inside was found stolen.

Police believe the same crew of two to four suspects are involved, describing them as males in their 20s and wearing hooded sweatshirts, face coverings and gloves. Surveillance footage has not been released, as "nobody is readily identifiable" in the videos.

The burglaries have occurred in multiple areas of the town. In some cases home security alarms have gone off, police said.

Officers are conducting increased patrols in residential areas, and the department is asking anyone who sees suspicious activity to immediately report it to police dispatch at 650-329-2413. Tips can also be sent to [email protected] or sent via text/voicemail to 650-383-8984.

Residents are asked to consider placing a lock on side yard gates, securing windows and doors overnight and turning on alarm systems.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

$40K worth of Burberry bags stolen

Five men who entered a Burberry store at Stanford Shopping Center allegedly threatened employees and stole an estimated $40,000 worth of handbags on Saturday, Palo Alto police said.

Police received a call at about 6:58 p.m. regarding an in-progress shoplift at the British clothing shop located at 180 El Camino Real. The men, who were not armed, entered the store and took several handbags. They threatened to hurt store employees and pushed a security guard, but no one was injured, Sgt. David Lee said.

The shoplifters were described only as 20-year-old men wearing gray hooded sweatshirts and black masks. No suspect vehicle description is known.

Anyone with information regarding this incident should 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.

— Sue Dremann

Sentencing set for Theranos ex-CEO, former COO

On Monday, a federal judge rejected efforts by Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes and her former business partner and ex-lover, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, to avoid their imminent sentencing dates.

Holmes, convicted of four counts of wire fraud based on her misleading statements about the now-defunct company's blood-testing technology, had moved for a new trial based largely on a surprise visit paid by the prosecution's star witness, Adam Rosendorff, to her residence in August of this year. He reportedly went to Holmes' home to tell her that "the prosecutors tried to make everybody look bad."

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila denied Holmes' motion on Monday after a limited evidentiary hearing in October found that Rosendorff testified credibly that the government was "comprehensive" and not "cherry picking or being selective" when it presented his testimony at trial.

Holmes also sought a new trial based on prosecutors' arguments to the jury during Balwani's case, but Davila denied this as well, concluding that a new jury hearing about prosecutors' statements would most likely not reach a different conclusion.

Davila also denied a third motion by Holmes seeking a new trial based on prosecutors' failure to produce certain emails about the loss of the Theranos patient database, concluding that Holmes and her lawyers already had the information.regarding the government's unsuccessful efforts to recover the database.

Earlier in the day, Davila denied Balwani's motion for a judgment of acquittal. Balwani was convicted of all 12 counts of wire fraud.

Holmes is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 18.

Balwani, originally set to be sentenced before Holmes, on Nov. 15, secured a three-week delay until Dec. 7 to allow more time for a pre-sentence investigation report.

— Susan Nash / Bay City News Foundation


Posted by Helen Podesta
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 7, 2022 at 8:02 am

Helen Podesta is a registered user.

> "Police believe the same crew of two to four suspects are involved,"

If such is the case, why are the vehicles described in these incidents all different?

Wouldn't this imply that the perpetrators are varied?

Posted by TLM
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 7, 2022 at 10:23 am

TLM is a registered user.

Grey sedan seen in the earlier cases. White SUV described for the most recent cases. Not "all different" vehicles...

Posted by WhatAboutme
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2022 at 10:32 am

WhatAboutme is a registered user.

"Police believe the same crew of two to four suspects are involved, describing them as Hispanic males in their 20s and wearing hooded sweatshirts, face coverings and gloves."

This is why I believe 2 different vehicles -- 2-4 subjects = 2 cars.

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2022 at 11:10 am

Bystander is a registered user.

So does this mean that people are being targeted while they are away from home for dinner? Or are they eating dinner at home while this is happening?

Could they be watching people leave at the dinner hour and suppose they will be gone for an hour or two?

Could they be looking at people who regularly eat out on certain days by watching their patterns of leaving the house?

If people are home eating dinner while this happens it is particularly worrying.

Posted by Nancy Ng
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2022 at 11:16 am

Nancy Ng is a registered user.

How can anyone identify a hooded person with mask as gloves as Hispanic?

Posted by Aletheia
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 7, 2022 at 12:43 pm

Aletheia is a registered user.

Release the videos anyway. Body shapes, gait, etc. can help identify individuals. Who at PAPD decided the videos wouldn’t help? The new Chief?

Posted by mary ann
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Nov 7, 2022 at 4:52 pm

mary ann is a registered user.

We are one of the homeowners hit by these men and I can say ours was after 9 pm closer to 10 pm. We left home for out of town trip on a Sunday about 12:30 pm and we packed up inside the garage. So we don’t think anyone was watching us leave. I’m not sure if it was random or what as we are almost always home Sunday night. The three men wearing masks and hoodies walked by cameras and alarm signs outside, yet they didn’t care as long as they thought the house was empty. Unfortunately our back gate was left unlocked, but we thought it was locked when we left home. Another mistake was our inside light on a timer and was off? Once in the backyard they picked a patio French door to break. The alarm sounded and they still came in and moved quickly to the MBR area. Since we were robbed almost 7 years ago we don’t leave valuables out. They took some costume jewelry, old purses and a few family mementos in the couple minutes they were in the house. The cops arrive soon after they left and they took photos of the mess to show us by e mail. We arrived back home as soon as we could to secure the house. The cops took many photos that our video cameras recorded of the men outside . Our neighbor’s camera down the street recorded the car circling the street waiting to pick up the 3 men. I’m hoping this helps other people to avoid a burglary. Neighbors if you’re walking your dog or just getting home from a evening outing notice other cars in your street that don’t normally belong there.

Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 7, 2022 at 5:39 pm

Annette is a registered user.

@Mary Ann - thank you for that report. All the best to you as you recover from this invasion.

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