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Man robbed while walking in Palo Alto

Original post made on Feb 19, 2008

A man walking near Cowper Street and Kellogg Avenue in Palo Alto Saturday night was robbed by three men who demanded his cell phone and cash, Sgt. Sandra Brown said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 9:43 AM

Comments (31)

Posted by Gene
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 19, 2008 at 1:04 pm

How does the victim know what 'color' they were? White bandanas and hooded sweat shirts?
The PAPD may be too busy tilting windmills at the Children's Theater to solve these real crimes.

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 19, 2008 at 1:44 pm

The eyes and surrounding flesh would still be visible, though that would still leave a few races as possible perps. I guess it would be fairer to say "fair skinned" of "light complexioned". Apparently no noticable accents were detected to skew the minimal ID info.

Posted by Right Joe
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 19, 2008 at 1:49 pm

> A man walking near Cowper Street and Kellogg Avenue in Palo Alto Saturday night was robbed by three men who demanded his cell phone and cash

He should have been allowed to pull his pistol and dispatch the three thugs.

But NO! That is not the Palo Alto way.
The cops are always minutes away when seconds count.

We must defer to the nanny state and take our lumps on the head and the loss of our freedom. It is only this way that the nannies will be happy.

Right Joe?

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 19, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Okay, let's run with that. Suppose the people of Palo Alto were not only allowed to arm themselves but also adept with their weapons. I'll grant you that thugs generally are not all THAT bright, but they would probably be bright enough to know that an intended victim was fully capable of defending himself with a gun, provided they had no guns. Ahhh, there's the solution: 3 guns outnumber the victims one gun, and they are back in business. Same crime, but the ante was just raised, and there is potential for a much worse outcome.

Here, the victim came away without his cell phone, but at least he was still breathing. I prefer this outcome.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2008 at 3:08 pm

They may have been wearing hooded sweatshirts and bandanas, but no mention of gloves. You can easily tell the color of the skin from the hands.

Posted by qq
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 19, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Stealing a cell phone is about the dumbest thing a thief can do.

1) As soon as the victim reports it stolen, it will be deactivated and/or bricked. Now the only thing the thief has is a battery they can sell. Most cell phones have an SMS bricking feature. I can send a special number to my phone via e-mail or SMS that will brick it until it is taken to the cell phone provider to be unlocked.

2) It leaves all kinds of bread crumbs for investigators. Most thieves start calling/texting their friends on it. "DOOD, I JUST GOT A PHONE LOL. I AM CALLING YOUR PHONE/HOUSE AND NOW THE COPS WILL BE VISITING YOU. HAHA!" Not to mention the GPS tracking...

3) Some are even so dumb to start taking pictures of themselves and sending them as MMS. Now not only do the investigators have numbers, but pictures and video too.

4) Cell phones can be used as a surveillance device. OnStar systems have been used to "listen in" on what is going on in the cabin of stolen vehicles or of folks who are under surveillance by law enforcement.

Web Link

Web Link

The only LOGICAL reason to take a cell phone from a victim would be to take the battery out and take it with you so that the victim has a delay in contacting authorities. But as we know, thieves are rarely logical...


Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Stealing a cell phone and taking a picture are common gang initiations.

Posted by Right Joe
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 19, 2008 at 4:23 pm

>> I prefer this outcome.

I C, OK that is your choice.

That would not be mine. I would prefer that your mother wasn't raped and the thugs had various holes roughly the size of .45 inch. Imagine three fewer thugs, what a concept.

As for your other analysis I think you have a choice to be a victim or not - this is certainly your choice. Is that not what all liberals preach from the pulpit of political correctness?

It's just a choice.

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 19, 2008 at 6:34 pm

So, you are saying that in order to be safe, all my mother needs to do is outgun three hoods?

How about my daughter, she's a little young to be trying to outgun criminals.

My father-in-law once punched out a hood that was holding a gun on him in Edgewood Plaza, but now his hand is messed up and I doubt he could outdraw most hoods. Are you going to require him to do so?

Your plan works great for anyone that can do a good Clint Eastwood simulation, but most people can't. King Arthur of legend came up with the idea of having stong people stand up for the rights and safety of those who could not stand up for themselves. That legacy still exists today, and we call those individuals "police". However, those same police tend to look down on people who try to take the law into their own hands, so I would suggest you not try to do so.

Palo Alto has a good police force, I would rather rely on their protection than yours, thank you.

Posted by Right Joe
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 19, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Interesting how you left leaning dolts turn "a choice" into a vendetta against the police.

However your leanings to TRUST the thugs to do what is right in your opinion vs. trained competent citizens making the correct choice is about a laughable as Diane Feinstein being against arming pilots as "Federal Flight Deck Officers" in commercial aircraft.

A program that has worked 100% effective since implementation despite her ludicrous and moronic opposition that Stanford grad initially took.

And since you brought it up what are you going to do before the police show up?
My point:
The cops are ALWAYS minutes away when seconds count.

Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 19, 2008 at 7:21 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by E.J.
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Banning guns only means that the criminals will have them and the law abiding citizens will not. Guns save lives and stop crimes but this is almost never reported.
BTW, the attitude that one won't be messed with is one of the most effective defenses against being victimized. Perpetrators (like rapists) and criminals tend to be cowards and they are less likely to target someone who could be armed or who is confident of their ability to defend themselves.
I know this from personal experience and I used to teach self defense.

Posted by news
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 20, 2008 at 1:43 am

As we know, the US has some of the highest crime rates in the industrialized world, along with some of the highest rates of gun ownership..

Most other industrialized nations long ago realized that guns are not the solution.

Why are so many people in this country so STUPID as to believe that guns help overall ??????

Posted by anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2008 at 2:03 am

Worrying. We don't want to have to win confrontations;
we want there to be no confrontations. That requires
there be no bad guys in our town. But is that even possible?
We live in a big city with all kinds of people. Can we
make them leave?

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 20, 2008 at 10:02 am

Now Right Joe, must we start calling names? I, personally, don't consider myself to be a "dolt", but if you think I am, that's fine.

The days of the wild west are over. Any attempt to regress to the "kill 'em all and let God sort it out" will land you firmly on the wrong side of the law. You advocate killing all three thugs over a cell phone? A cell phone? Really? We are going to start slinging bullets around a populated area, endangering people in nearby buildings and cars over a cell phone? Gimme a break.

Let's see, what would happen if we all started arming ourselves? Hmmm, the thugs would shoot us first and thenremove the cell phone from the body. Why risk being shot while asking for it. Of course, since the thugs would know they were risking getting shot at, they would start wearing kevlar for protection, so the sales of teflon-coated armor-pearcing bullets would rise in response. This would increase the risk to innocent people nearby because the bullets would pierce walls more easily. Of course, you are advocating large calibre weapons, when even a measly 22 cal can kill people at a range of 1.5 miles. "Martha, the dog wants to go for a walk, let's put on the flak jackets and grab the AK47's,...." What's wrong with this picture?

Posted by re
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 20, 2008 at 12:00 pm

this is a pill gun poison society. just look at that thing they are trying to knockm out of the sky cause it contains toxic fuel. according to news, the weather may stop that attempt.time to get away from poisons and guns to solve everything. or dont reproduce. the ''pill'' is sort of the other side of the bullet.if you dont use ''pill'', you w ill end up with a bullet or drug, because americans are irresponsible in their reproductive behavior. dont have kids if theyre going to end up on pills or need guns.this is a ''lozenge'' society.pills , bullets , birth control pills , those are lozenges of varios death dealing properties. ever think of that? a lozenge society...

Posted by a
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 20, 2008 at 12:03 pm

also think of the WTC smells and odors of human horror.all those pills drugs and stuff that americans have, their perfumers etc, those tpwers were an amalgam of american horror. the stech of chemicals flesh and ''human'' artrifacts of this tragic empire

Posted by Right Joe
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 20, 2008 at 12:55 pm

I am struck with humor and amazement reading your ramblings for I can tell that you are someone without any in theater operational experience and I don't mean action movie theater experience.

You so easily dismiss the competent citizen as did and does Diane Feinstein who is someone else equally transparent and clueless when it comes to force on force confrontations. But what is more amazing is that you consistently defer to the thug as someone to negotiate with and just hand it over. I will tell you there are many like me that are not willing to roll over and just take-it.

I can tell you that presented with thugs with guns you can rely on several consistent facts of the thugester class. - 1. Their guns usually don't work (don't take my word for it ask the police). and - 2. if they work, their marksmanship is on par with Iraqi happy shot gun club members (again don't take my word for just review any number of post police/gangster confrontations). - 3. Thugs and other criminals are cowards when confronted with someone trained and willing to sent them on their way (see the link- Web Link">Web Link ). 

As for the cell phone being "worth it" I would suggest that you ask the man walking near Cowper Street and Kellogg Avenue in Palo Alto Saturday night if he was in fear for his life? I suspect you have never had that experience.

You consistently fail to comprehend that there are citizens in Palo Alto that are competent, trained or willing to be trained that have a history free of any legal or psychological problems and have been denied their due rights as allowed by more than 2/3 the states in the union: the right of self-defense.

Why do you distrust your fellow Palo Alto neighbor and TRUST the thugs?

FYI - another mugging with a different outcome.
Web Link">Web Link

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 20, 2008 at 1:59 pm

It's not that I "trust" the thugs more than my neighbors. But I would trust them without guns more than I would trust you with them. You sound a little trigger-happy to me. Lord forbid I should ever make oyu feel threatened when I tried to pass you on the sidewalk, I could wind up dead with you telling the police I tried something.

I am not going to argue with you, I am simply going to state my beliefs:
1) Arming citizens to "fight crime" would create FAR more problems than it would solve.
2) The only thing worth killing for is your life or the life of a loved one or innocent. Killing someone to prevent them taking your cell, wallet, car keys, shoes, whatever is totally wrong.
3) I am not a religous person but I do believe Jesus had a point when he taught non-violence. Ghandi too. How do you suppose they would react to the idea of killing someone who tried to merely rob you?
4) The police are there for a reason. Get out of the confrontation with your life and health any way you can and let them take it from there. Play the vigilanty and the police will rightfully take you from there. The last thing I want on the streets is random and unstable people randomly dispensing what they perceive as justice at will.

Posted by Don't trample on my rights
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 20, 2008 at 6:20 pm

I trust myself (or another law abiding citizen) with a gun sooner than I would trust any thug. Cities that allow people to carry legal concealed guns have lower crime rates than those that don't. The police can't be everywhere and usually don't get to a crime scene until after the fact. I am my own best first line of defense.

Posted by Right Joe
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 20, 2008 at 10:09 pm

It is interesting you would bring Gandhi into this debate. Clearly you have a limited education. While Gandhi was a great man and a man of wisdom a man of peace he was no fool. I invite you to read his book the links are below.

Here is Mohandas Gandhi own words quote:
-- "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." --

Go ahead and read on I think you be surprised as to what this man really thought. After your read this mans words madam why would you ever chose to deprive me of my right of self defense in favor of thugs?

Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth 
By Mohandas Gandhi

page 403 (Dover Publications)
see it here: Web Link
read for yourself here: Web Link

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 21, 2008 at 10:15 am

You have missed my point, and I think you have me confused with someone opposed to gun ownership. I am not in favor of banning guns, I enjoy mine, and I think of myself as a bit of a marksman. But that is beside the point.

Your original posts would seem to have advocated having everyone wander around armed and, when confronted by someone who seemed threatening, open fire. You seemed to have been advocating killing those three hoods over a cell phone. You looked like you were advocating that each of us should see to it that the laws were followed (as we perceived them) with our guns. You were willing to pass an instantanious death penalty to anyone you felt was a threat to society and advocating that others do the same, and we should accept your word when you claim to be mentally stable and mature enough to make these decisions with no training.

Based on attitudes expressed in your posts, I don't think I want you anywhere near a gun and I might even go so far as to hire the thugs to protect me from you, if you had your way.

There is an old joke that goes "My school was so tough that they frisked all the kids on the way in each morning for guns and knives, and if they didn't have any, they were given some." Do you REALLY think we should make sure everyone is armed?

Posted by Stop the B.S.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm

We have plenty of laws to prevent people who have criminal records or mental illnesses from owning guns. We have plenty of laws restricting the kinds of guns that sane, law abiding citizens can own. Therefore "everyone" is not going to be armed.
Those who own guns are trained in their use. They do not kill on sight without serious provocation. If you do not know these things, I doubt that you really own a gun.
I can guarrantee you, that if anyone had shot someone else simply out of fear, the anti-gun media would have had it in their headlines - everyhere. Your statements are so ridiculous, I wonder if you even believe them yourself.

Posted by Justme
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 21, 2008 at 3:30 pm

Those who own guns are trained in their use? They do not kill on sight without serious provocation? If you do not know these things, I doubt that you really own a gun?

How can you make these claims? No one is required to take gun training, undergo psychiactric evaluation, or provide any evidence of stability before legally buying a gun, other than not having a criminal record. How can you possibly claim that everyone who legally buys a gun has a firm understanding of the concept of right and wrong? Of proportionate crime and punishment? Where is you proof of these claims?

"Trained in their use" tend to mean they know where to put the bullets in, work the trigger, and can usually find the safety. Define "Serious provocation" that everyone agrees with. Getting flipped off on the freeway fits the definition for some.

Look at the recent shootings at VA Tech and other colleges. The shooters bought their weapons legally and obviously were "trained in their use".

As for me actually owning a weapon, part of me wants to say "Look, you and me, Los Altos Rod and Gun Club, 100 yard range, open sights, show me you can shoot better than me. Even with my failing eyes and bifocals,...

Posted by Stop the B.S.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm

The shootings at those universities were not done out of a mistaken fear that they would be robbed or killed. Some of them illegally posessed the guns they used.
This demonstrates that criminals and or nut cases will break any law that suits them, including illegal possession of firearms. It does not prove that decent citizens should be deprived of their constitutional right to bear arms.
You seem unaware of the laws on background checks, etc. for those purchasing and owning guns. ....And if I can shoot better than you, what does it prove? Should you then give up your gun?

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 21, 2008 at 6:25 pm

*Some of them illegally posessed the guns they used.*
And some owned them legally and were the fine, upstanding citizens you claim gun owners to be.

*It does not prove that decent citizens should be deprived of their constitutional right to bear arms.*
Who said anything about repealing the constitution. The argument was made, originally, that everyone should arm themselves as a deterrent to crime, and I chose to disagree with that concept. I still do. Stop trying to twist my words.

*And if I can shoot better than you, what does it prove?*
It proves that I at least own a gun, which is something you questioned. I own several in fact. Handguns and rifles, no shotguns. Last time I bought a gun there were minimal background checks done, it was a long time ago.

Posted by Who are you defending?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Stop the BS: Until they turned their lawfully owned weapons against innocent people, those university shooters were the "decent citizens" that you are arguing so vigorously to arm.

Posted by Stop the B.S.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 21, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Who are you going to deny the right of gun ownership to then? I say that it is none of my business or your business or the government's business, if every every reasonably sane citizen chooses to legally own guns. There is no way to predict and control every aspect of human behavior. Nor is it right to try to do so.

Posted by Right Joe
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 22, 2008 at 12:24 am

> And some owned them legally and were the fine, upstanding citizens you claim gun owners to be.

Is that so? Gee me, you can not get your facts straight for even one post. -

ALL University shooters have self-defined themselves by their overt actions as mentally unbalanced people. They were known to the local psychiatric community as people that were mentally unstable and therefore PROHIBITED BY LAW from owning or possession a firearm. Laws limiting weapon possession were not enforced, even though they exist. And even though these people were known to be mentally unbalanced persons.
That is a indisputable fact.

Seung-Hui Cho: a known psychologically unbalanced person: by eighth grade had been diagnosed with selective mutism, a social anxiety disorder. Cho wrote in a school assignment about wanting to "repeat Columbine." The school contacted Cho's sister, who reported the incident to their parents. Cho was sent to a psychiatrist.
source: Web Link

Steven Kazmierczak: his parents committed him as a teen to a group home because he was "unruly" and used to cut himself, Kazmierczak had been seeing a psychiatrist on a monthly basis, His girlfriend Baty said he was taking an anti-depressant, but he had stopped taking the medication three weeks ago because "it made him feel like a zombie."
source: Web Link

Even prior to the 1968 GCA there was another University killer Charles Whitman
In 1966, Whitman discussed his depression with the University's doctor, Jan Cochrun, who prescribed Valium and recommended he visit campus psychiatrist Maurice Dean Heatly. On March 29, 1966, Whitman met with Heatly and spent an hour explaining his frustration with his parents' separation and his increasing strains at work and school. During the interview, he made a remark about feeling --> the urge to "start shooting people with a deer rifle" from the University tower. <-- Heatly noted that Whitman was "oozing with hostility", yet never returned. Whitman mentioned the visit with Heatly in his final suicide notes, saying that it was to "no avail". By the summer, Whitman was prescribed Dexedrine.
source: Web Link

The question is are these people mentally ill or evil, it does not matter; either way they all have in the past defined themselves to a professional that should have kept them away from the general public or at a minimum required regular checks to insure their safe stability. Those professionals are the psychiatric community and/or the law enforcement/court community. They have an obligation to regulate these self-defined mentally unstable persons. Their actions give a clear signal of the harm to come if left unchecked and we the law-abiding public must be protected as said before the cops can not be every where at once. So how are you going to protect yourself?

If our governments (local-state-fed) would follow the law these people would not even get near a weapon. Yet, time and time again the revolving door is opened and these people are let lose. Seems the problem is mentally unbalanced people and their connection to psychotropic drugs coupled to a failure to enforce the law.

Posted by just thinking
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 22, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Sadly, the guns used at V Tech and NIU were actually legally purchased - one online dealer (not in VA or IL)involved with both incidents.

Posted by John wilkes booth
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2008 at 9:26 pm

legally purchased - if one considres perjury legal.

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