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Home invasion robbery in Palo Alto

Original post made on Dec 10, 2007

A woman was robbed in her Palo Alto home at gunpoint Friday afternoon by three intruders, including two women who said they were looking for someone.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, December 10, 2007, 9:44 AM

Comments (26)

Posted by Craig
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 10, 2007 at 12:09 pm

I'm confused - how does this story relate to climate change or Iran?
Also, anyone who thinks that its more dangerous to have a gun in your home than to not have one, should read this story.

Posted by Chris
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 10, 2007 at 12:13 pm

How would a gun have helped in this situation? Do you normally answer the door at 1:10 in the afternoon with a pistol in hand? Chances are the robbers would have found and stolen the gun, adding to the number of guns in felons' hands.

Posted by Anna
a resident of Southgate
on Dec 10, 2007 at 12:23 pm

The real question posed by Craig is whether the City is so focused on international and peripheral issues that it is failing to take care of the basics of municipal government - the first part of which is protecting residents from brazen violent crime like this one and like the increasing number of others that have been reported recently.

Posted by joan
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 10, 2007 at 12:25 pm

In communities where residents keep guns for home defense criminals know it and the crime rate declines dramatically because they fear the consequences of their acts.

There has been a rash of armed robberies in Palo Alto recently, criminals are not deterred by our lapdog reputation.

oh never mind--- we have to discuss Iran at the city Council meeting not the safety of our residents---

Posted by Dave
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 10, 2007 at 1:41 pm

I'm not a gun nut - or even much in favor of guns. But when the police can't or won't protect us from violent crime in our own homes, some will resort to desperate measures (like carrying guns for self-protection).

I hope the Council will give up pursuit of developing its own Iran foreign policy and trying to solve the Global Climate problem and similar issues and turn attention to the boring little problems we have right here at home. Unlike these glamorous issues, crime may be something it can actually do something about.

Posted by Michael Edward Loftus, Sr.
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 10, 2007 at 2:07 pm

How can these Scam-In/Push-Ins still be so widespread, day after day after day? The prevention is so simple: blow away the the naïveté of the prey. See Web Link for a simple change in your behavior. And, yes,it's going to take a tiny bit of effort.

Posted by Electronic Eyes Are Good
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2007 at 2:11 pm

> How would a gun have helped in this situation?

In this case, a gun wouldn't have helped this lady much, but a surveillance camera might have.

Posted by Anna W Quillan
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 10, 2007 at 2:14 pm

For those of us who remember when we could (and did) leave our doors unlocked most of the time -- a time not so long ago, this is a sad, sad reminder of how far and how quickly we have fallen away from what we once had here in Palo Alto.

Posted by Kev Lar
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2007 at 4:32 pm

We won't be safe until everybody has a gun and knows how to use it, right?

If I was a crook in that NRA paradise, I'd just shoot my victims pre-emptively before servicing them, with a silencer in a secluded spot. Their only defense is to shoot me before I do them. But they won't know my profession until I get down to business, and then it's too late. So the only safe course for a law-abiding citizen to do in NRA-topia to blast every suspicious looking person before that person can blast them. You can't be too careful, you know.

Posted by joan
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 10, 2007 at 5:05 pm

Yesterday in Colorado Springs over 100 lives were saved because a women with a concealed weapons permit and shot and killed the murderer at the church.

" Later, at New Life Church, a gunman wearing a trench coat and carrying a high-powered rifle opened fire in the parking lot and later walked into the church as a service was letting out.

Jeanne Assam, a church member who volunteers as a security guard, shot and killed Murray, who was found with a rifle and two handguns, police said. The pastor called her "a real hero."

"When the shots were fired, she rushed toward the scene and encountered the attacker there in a hallway. He never got more than 50 feet inside our building," he said. "There could have been a great loss of life yesterday, and she probably saved over 100 lives."
Associated Press 12/10/07

See linkWeb Link

If concealed weapons were at virginia tech or at the recent mall incident then many lives would have been saved.

The increase in criminal gun activity in the Palo Alto area must be stopped!

Posted by Gun Owner
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 10, 2007 at 10:02 pm

There is a huge difference between a professional security guard and a churchful of amateur Dirty Harry wannabes. How many churchgoers would have been killed by their panicked crossfire, and how many more wounded?

Posted by Barney Morgan
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2007 at 10:42 pm

I'm neither a gun owner nor a gun advocate. But I think Gun Owner needs to rethink the logic of his post. If there had not been someone at the church with a gun, the shooter (who had 1000 rounds of ammunition with him) would have had access to the hundreds of unarmed church-goers. To think that the number of these innocents who might have been harmed by "crossfire" would exceed the number who surely would have been slaughtered by the shooter if left unimpeded defies logic and common sense.

There may be a case for gun control and restrictions appurtenant to the Colorado case, but Gun Owner has not made it.

Posted by Anna
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 10, 2007 at 11:39 pm

This is so sad! Since last year I have noticed that there are a lot of incidents happening here in Palo Alto. From older ladies getting their purse robbed to home invassion in the middle of the afternoon at gunpoing. At least one big thing is happening in this city per month. This is trully sad. I started to avoid walking at night to and from downtown, but apparently not even during the day time we are safe. :(

Posted by Gun Owner
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 11, 2007 at 10:21 am

Bottom line: I'd rather be an atheist than take guns to church.

Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 11, 2007 at 10:45 am

We need to be diligent about having a safety plan in place to prevent intruders from entering our home and to inform our children of that plan. Children/Teens can be particularly vulnerable if they are not taught the house rules in answering the door.

Posted by joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 11, 2007 at 11:20 am

Joan, that woman was a security guard (and a former police woman) not a random bystander.

Posted by Rare Breed
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 11, 2007 at 1:12 pm

Let's try a rational view for a change. Palo Alto is not suddenly at risk of divers gunpersons battering down doors at random. These perps could have invaded any number of homes within less than a mile with much more money and valuables on hand. They went for this one, this neighborhood, which means they had a target.

Posted by joan
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 11, 2007 at 2:44 pm

If you use the link to read the article you will see that there were a number of people armed in the church and they had an emergency plan.

Anyone who owns a gun must be trained to use it.

It is very common to have several armed members in synagogues throughout the US, California and Palo Alto.

There are many people who are trained to use firearms and should be provided with concealed weapons permits to guard our malls, churches, colleges etc.

Once this becomes common practice, as it will, homicidal criminals will be deterred or put down.

Posted by sarlat
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 11, 2007 at 6:03 pm

If the norm was for most homeowners to own guns, home invaders would be armed and shoot the home occupants to prevent from being shot. The notion that more guns would prevent crimes is silly and typical in this ulrta-violent, frontier obsessed society. Much wiser societies than us have found out that less guns work out much better than more guns. No matter how well the training, more guns would also mean more fatal gun accidents, more fatalities during crimes of passion and domestic arguments, etc. We are a society that worships violence and frontier like posturing, we invade countries we don't like and we worship guns. I was trained in the military to use guns and am extremely familiar with various firearms, yet I wouldn't dream of bringing a gun into my house, I'd rather have a black mamba slithering around, that would still be less dangerous. Arming everybody-a terrible and extremely dumb idea that we should discard quickly.

Posted by Sally L
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 11, 2007 at 6:46 pm

Unfortunately, all evidence is exactly contrary to your musings. There have been numerous academics who've looked at this and find that guns do tend to reduce crime, or at least not raise them. Locales that move from stricter to looser gun restrictions see slight reductions in violent crime rates. Burglary and home invasion are especially affected by this phenomena.

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Corroborating evidence comes from Scotland and Australia, both of which experienced soaring person on person crime rates after confiscation of private weapons (something that could not happen here because of Constitutional protections for firearm ownership.)

Web Link

Web Link

Posted by sarlat
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 11, 2007 at 7:30 pm

The sources you base your notion that guns reduce crime are bogus and fabricated and generally sponsored directly and indirectly by the NRA. The "academics" who supposedly deduced that guns reduce crime are the same sort of "academics" who deny climate change. The increase in guns increase the use of guns by criminals, increase accidents, use of guns due to rage, mental breakdowns and crime of passion. Fatal accidents and death due to friendly fire are common among elite military units who are highly trained to use weapons-imagine the rate of "friendly deaths" in the general population if this crazy "guns for everybody" mentality takes hold. Imagine neighbors who have hated each other for years having a bad day and rushing to get their guns and shoot each each other instead of having a heated arguments that's eventually settled with a handshake. The same "let's all have guns" mentality also makes this nation think they can invade other countries and kill hundred of thousands of people when it feels like it-that's why we have become the most hated and despised nation in the world. When I travel abroad people always associate our gun culture to our extreme imperial aggression, and they are damn right.

Posted by Sally L
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 11, 2007 at 7:42 pm

We don't have to imagine what places with towns having the kind of gun laws sarlat fears would be like. There are plenty of places in the US with no restrictions on handguns ownership, nor long guns, and that have freely issued concealed weapon permits. THey have lower crime than similar places with restrictive gun laws. Sarlat should read the links above, rather than using ad hominem about teh authors (that isn't true.)

Posted by joan
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 11, 2007 at 7:50 pm

In Switzerland every home by law has to have a fully automatic assault

rifle - a weapon that is illegal in every US state.- and the owner has to know how to use it.

In the UK when they restricted gun ownership home invasion rates exploded.

The UK criminals still get more and more guns every year of course.

Over 100 lives were saved in Colorado Spring because of a concealed weapons permit--- think about that

Posted by Residents
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2007 at 8:10 pm

There will always be nuts with guns regardless of whether they are allowed to get them legally or illegally. I would choose to make it harder. The idea that going to Church makes you a target for some nutter is incredibly small. The idea that if every home had a weapon which could easily be used by a child or an adult with a bad temper, scares me because even in the most careful of cases, a gun could be left in the wrong place for just a short space of time and something horrible could happen. I would rather go to Church and feel safe rather than let my child into a home where there is a locked away gun, just in case. The odds of me being a victim of terrible violence in a Church is much less likely than my child being hurt by a friend who accidently got hold of his parents weapon.

Posted by Big Al
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 11, 2007 at 9:09 pm

I left my wallet in El Segundo~

Posted by jb
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 12, 2007 at 12:26 am

I think you are all silly to believe this is a random home invasion.

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