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Palo Alto police arrest three after tip from resident

Original post made on Feb 28, 2012

Palo Alto police arrested three people Monday, Feb. 27, after a resident reported suspicious behavior on Waverley Street near Oregon Expressway. Taken into custody were Becky Davis, 39, Richard Sgambati 33, and Rochelle Vasquez, 36, all of San Jose.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 2:17 PM

Comments (23)

Posted by good job
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Good job by whoever it was who snitched on them. Thank you from a neighbor.

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm

WTG! It is great that someone reported something suspicious...and may have prevented a burglary.

Posted by Deep Throat
a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

The Police Report Log for Incident # 120001032 is about a stolen package that was reported Monday afternoon, but possibly could have been stolen earlier in the day.

Posted by Bruce L.
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Great observation by the witness and awesome response by the PAPD. These are likely one of many groups of suspects who have been burglarizing Palo Alto. Residents need to be vigilant by keeping their doors locked, side gates locked and easily accessible windows secured. Don't hesitate to call in any suspicious activity and don't think you are overreacting or being a bother. If you see something that makes you think about calling the cops then give them a call that's what they're there for!

Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 28, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Thank you, congratulations and good work to all involved, except the out of town dirtbag scum! ;-)

Posted by Bleezy
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 28, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Web Link

Anyone else remember seeing that mugshot back in December? I think he looks happier in the more recent one.

Posted by Ingrid
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 28, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I was walking my dog and was approached by one of the ladies shown and was asked for directions on how to get to the freeway, I saw no suspicious activity or had any feeling of criminal activity going on with them.The woman had stated she had gotten into an argument with her boyfriend and couldn't find him and they were lost.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 29, 2012 at 8:35 am

Bleezy, he's smiling because he knows he'll be back out on the street again soon to try again. Three cheers for our judicial/penal system.

Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 29, 2012 at 8:51 am

"Catch and release" would make more sense if we viewed nabbing bad guys as a sport.

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 29, 2012 at 8:56 am

I would think there is a probability of an invoice inside the package.

Good response by police to the report, and a double-good-on-you to whoever reported these people.

I firmly believe that substance abuse issues are at the root of most of these kinds of crimes. If we can attack those issues at their root we can reduce these crimes. We cannot just say "non-violent offense, naughty naughty" and let them go. Jail is an expensive solution, but parole with frequent drug testing, detoxification programs, and help with their issues is probably cheaper and more effective. At the same time, raise the penalties for dealers and distribution chain, scale the penalties against the types of drugs involved (meth dealers get hit harder than pot dealers,) and raise the limits on the amount one has to carry to be considered a dealer. If someone claims to be merely a user insead of a dealer, say "Fine, we will let you off the hook if you consume all your stuff right here and right now." Then lock them up until it wears off or another end is reached. That's harsh, I know, but I have no patience for the dealers.

Posted by Quasi
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 29, 2012 at 9:44 am

We watched the arrests go down from Midtown Cafe. The ironic part is she had a bumper sticker that said "Don't be a Dick"

Posted by Gethin
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 29, 2012 at 10:52 am

Its great to see the benefits of good neighbors and effective police work.

Posted by Stan Hutchings
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 29, 2012 at 11:12 am

was there a description of the vehicle? model, color, license would be good as a vehicle to look out for. I would put the info in my smart phone to keep as reference when I'm out walking. The info is probably in the police report.

Posted by report
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 29, 2012 at 11:33 am

Re: "Good job by whoever it was who snitched on them" this may be petty, but words matter: Let's not even use the word snitch here. It lends legitimacy to those parts of society where it is widely and successfully used (even proudly displayed on T-shirts) as a pejorative in the phrase "Don't snitch". Let those who allow or support the decline of the moral fabric and safety of their communities have that word. Police in Oakland are having a hard time finding the killers of two of the three 2-and-under 2011 shooting murder victims because of a lack of willing witnesses and informants. Good job to those who reported a crime in progress.

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Hear hear report, I agree with you 100%.

"Good job by whoever it was who snitched on them" sounds like the kind of thing one would hear from people like the ones just arrested. It makes it sound like those were the good guys and the police and law-abiding citizens were the bad guys. It makes it sould like we are in the wrong for trying to defend ourselves because we are trying to obstruct the criminals.

To "good job" who originally posted that line, how DARE you post like that. It is VERY offensive, wrong-headed, and not all that bright. Darned right we will "snitch" on people like that, in a hearbeat, and we will feel good afterwards. If you don't like it, you are free to move to someplace that has no laws. But don't condem me for trying to defend myself, my family, my neighbors, my friends, and any other good people in my area by reporting parasites and preditors looking for a place to commit a crime to the police.

Posted by CivilRightsIsGone
a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm


Good ob on the lingo; however, if citizens of a town consider "suspicious behavior," simply occupying a neighborhood, looking like they don't belong and making judgments on character outside of the influence charge, then the problem really resides with you. Its' a shame individuals of a higher socioeconomic background, have such small mentalities, and ignorant perspectives. At the end of the day, the real shameful individuals', often spend their day on paloaltoonline making ignorant assessments of individuals', hopefully someone proves' you right by inflicting the damage you assume they'll do, to you. Its' karma.

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm

CivilRightsIsGone, they were driving house to house, jumping out of the car to visit each house. At the very least they were solicitors, and their permit needed to be checked. You think we should just assume that everyone is honest and honorable and not question suspicious behavior? Perhaps we should all take the locks off our doors because having a lock indicates an unacceptable distrust of your fellow man? When is it okay to start making judgements about someone, when they are right in front of you pointing a gun at you? but if you see someone pointing a gun at someone else you shoudl assume they are rehersing for a play or playing a game and not be negatively judgmental?

People will notice questionable behavior in others like the guy who call the cops did. It turns out he was right, they were caught with burglary tools and stolen property, good call. He did not do anything to them directly himself, he did what he was supposed to do and notified the police so they could do their jobs. Perfect.

Oh, wait, people of higher socialeconomic backgrounds are wrong to try to avoid being robbed? What kind of crap is that? I worked my way up honestly from minimum-wage jobs so that I could live decently and I earned everything I have. I should fork it over to destitute drug addicts because I have it and they don't? What if, once they are of a higher socialeconomic status than me (remember, I just forked over all my property and they are now better off than I am) can I steal it back?

How about keeping it simple: It is wrong to steal, and it is illegal to steal, and people have a right to defend themselves against theft. If someone is truly in need I will GIVE to them, but it is wrong for them to forcably take it without my consent. All your claims regarding "socialeconomic backgrounds" is a load of horse dung designed to try to justify and rationalize and wordplay around pure and simple theft. I don't buy it.

Posted by stop stealing
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I agree with "JUST ME'.

Posted by Justme
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 1, 2012 at 6:04 pm

As with almost everything, the wrongness of theft has degrees. If you steal food when you are hungry, and harm no one in the process, it is nearly forgivable. If you take my wallet at gunpoint from me for the same reason, if is far less forgivable due to the threat and the larger theft. If you knock down a little old lady and pummel her to steal her purse because you are hungry, it gets worse. If you do any of these things not because you are hungry but rather to support your substance abuse needs, each of these gets worse.

But worst of all is when you self-delude yourself into beleiving that any of this is okay, because when you start self-deluding, rationalizing, and contorting reality to make yourself THINK you are not doing anything wrong, then you become capable of remoreslessly committing the most heinous crimes, believing that you are doing nothing wrong. The "they have it, I want it, therefore I deserve it" twisted logic has been used in the past to justify some pretty horrid things.

Try working for the things you want, earning them, saving for them. Don't just sit on your lazy posterior doing nothing to justify your existance and then take what others have earned.

Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2012 at 3:36 am


Sorry, these are repeat offenders. Have fun getting rolled by all the nice people you meet in your perceived utopia

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 2, 2012 at 10:34 am

@ Justme:

I agree about the varying degrees of intent or motive. However, an extensive study that I reviewed during college revealed that such "hunger" motivation statistics behind theft are so small that they are nearly immeasurable.

Most people steal because they are thieves. They have motivations to pay for drug use...or simply because they feel that this is easier than a real occupation.

It would be great if schools could teach a statistical comparison between a life of crime and what a person could earn from a real job (even a low paying job). Most incidents of theft, burglary and robbery are committed by individuals who haven't worked for quite some time. Many have criminal records (which might lead to an inability to get a job) and simply find that criminal activity is their new "career."

It would be great to teach children when they are young that crime may pay in the short term, but the true "cost" will be enormous.

Posted by Cid Young
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Did the arrest lead to this:
Web Link

Posted by jenna
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 7, 2012 at 5:29 am

Honestly I think that the residents in our community of "PALO ALTO" are overreacting a slight bit. Because we are an upper class know community, people tend to judge, label, and quick to discriminate against anyone that is not belonging to our neighborhood. Perhaps they did nothing wrong and like the lady who was walking her dog had stated? We dont know for sure right? See there are always 3 sides to a story person 1, person 2, and the truth. What we are doing is called "Labeling" and they are presumed innocent until guilty. The newspapers should be careful on how and what they print, cause in our eyes they are already guilty. who are we to deform their character? thats a lawsuit if you ask me.We are no better than anyone else just because we live in a the suburbs doesnt mean our SHIT dont stink

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