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Original post made
on Jul 14, 2014
Sadly, we need video cameras downtown.
City Council should worry, like residents do, about robberies downtown and on California street and stop spending time approving new condos, hotels and businesses.
Likewise build some secure parking garages.
I have to wonder what is going on here?
It has been quite a while since I noticed crimes in downtown Palo Alto. Specifically I recall when that young man was shot and killed right by City Hall maybe over a decade now. I think it started with a man was killed down by the train station one night ... even longer ago than that. I seem to see more crime on Palo Alto streets of innocent bystanders falling victim to people with guns.
Maybe by the numbers it's not a lot, but it is enough so that I am sure all or almost all Palo Altans take notice, and I'll bet quite a few people think about where they are and where they are going and when.
I find this so unacceptable in a town like Palo Alto, where the living standard and income is so high that we have problems like this with crime.
The only thing that I can think of that changed was the opening up of bars and businesses that catered to young adults and drinking. I used to see normal run of the day people walking up and down the streets of University, now it's like a little Mountain View, and Mountain View is a like a little San Jose.
Since some people cannot seem to handle freedom or accept responsibility and must ruin it for everyone else, I kind of wish they would go back to the days when they did not sell liquor anywhere near Stanford. People are also a lot ruder, drive much worse, and I associate that new norm with the crime. Whether there is an actual casual or relational link, who knows.
While I don't want to discount your opinion, I don't think your stated concerns are relevant to what just happened. Given that there is a high probability that the two robberies were committed by the same person and that one was in a MP residential area and the other on a Sunday night/early Monday morning (not exactly fallout from a typical drinking night)...that the guy was dressed to commit the crimes, carried a hand gun...these were planned robberies and were for the exact same items - wallet and phone.
I just don't see how this is related to Palo Alto bars and/or restaurants.
Crescent Park Dad is likely correct. This bad guy is looking for people to rob and isn't focused on bars. Let's hope he gets caught without hurting is anyone.
Robbers go where the money is.
Potential Robbers are encouraged by the fact that after commission of a crime in downtown PA, no one seems to be arrested. It's dark, there are people walking around well after dark, and a disguise is all a person needs to get away with it.
My cell phone was snatched right out of my hand on Saturday night near 7-11 around 9pm.The guy just took off running. The police need to patrol that area better a lot of illegal activity going down.
This is an awful crime and worrisome. This is a family community. I ask that the police patrol by walking (or how about cycling?) around downtown in the vicinity of the bars, especially close to the police station. There appears to be a real need for this visibility of police at night. We can all remember crimes that have occurred close to the police station!
This happened next to City Hall! We should ask ourselves why the robber was not deterred by potential police presence. We appear to pay our police to watch traffic and to harass our citizens with minor traffic or parking violations, instead of engaging in crime prevention.
The lack of focus by Palo Alto residents on his daylight robbery in Menlo is disconcerting, but not surprising.
"This happened next to City Hall! We should ask ourselves why the robber was not deterred by potential police presence."
This is actually an excellent crime venue. The cops on duty are cruising in their cars to provide citywide coverage. They do not hang around the station waiting for something to happen.
As many commuters seem to know, the 200 block of Forest Ave is one of the safest places in town to ignore stop signs. Telling, no?
The more we develop, the more crimes we will have. Before this endless orgy of development, and I'm not talking about the 1930s or even 1950s, but about the early 1980s, Palo Alto had so little crime, you could walk home from downtown well after midnight and not worry about anything. "Vibrant Palo Alto" has diminished our quality of life, safety and ability to enjoy this once wonderful town.
As we saw with the wave of burglaries a couple years ago, the police department is terribly understaffed, and there is typically no visible police presence in any part of the city, even in front of the police station. [Portion removed.]
This brings back memories of when a scientist, a father of twins, was murdered downtown several years ago.
I truly thought that security cameras would be installed after that horrible crime. But all these years later, we still do. to have them. They aren't that expensive, but they are certainly worth having, and this city is willing to spend money on stupid thing--so why not spend it on something really worthwhile? We don't have enough police--a friend who works for PAPD told me that the city is short about ten officers--to patrol everywhere, so why not install security cameras and prevent some crime?
The type of people that frequent downtown Palo Alto are totally different today than they were 20 years ago. Also the behavior of people has changed too. Someone like this guy can walk around and fit right in or not look suspicious or attract any attention. [Portion removed.]
There has been relatively a lot of violent crime in Palo Alto. How do we compare with the neighboring cities for stuff like this because it "seems" like Palo Alto is like the common area where they do to do stuff like this. It becomes incumbent on us to do what is necessary to deter it, but as far as I know we have not gotten serious about this because it is still infrequent and only affects a few individuals ... but it really affects all of us.
People have been walking on Palo Alto streets at night and robbed or accosted ... that means there are criminals driving around the city at night looking for trouble. I don't see Police cruisers cruising around at night like I used to either.
[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Crescent Park Anon, [portion removed]
The Menlo robbery didn't happen in Belle Haven, it happened close to the Palo Alto/Menlo border, in The Willows. Nor is Belle Haven the back door into downtown Palo Alto. If it happened in Belle Haven, it'd still be terrifying. [Portion removed.]
I live right downtown in that area and when I walk at night, I do worry a lot more these days. Yes, the traffic and attitude in general here is not what it once was. Palo Alto's downtown is being decentralized quickly as it loses its identity, its small business and family friendly and college town orientation and is being replaced with aggressive mega-corporate interest. There is not a sense of neighbor watching out for neighbor, that's for sure. All this big money has come to downtown, yet it feels so culturally impoverished. If we care so much about this place we live, then why isn't their more of a public safety presence?
"K" has said it beautifully. We need a stronger police presence in
our City, for both traffic enforcement and crime prevention. The problem
starts with the City's decision, as traffic and safety issues have mounted
from massive over-development, to respond not with more police but with more
signs and paint all over the streets. That is the choice the City has made.
Now we have the worst of all worlds in Palo Alto - more traffic,unsafe streets, crime, ugliness all wrapped up together in a disastrous downward
K and Boscoli are correct!!!
This town has gone to the pits because of the over development and all walks of life have migrated to this area and one doesn't even recognize a friendly neighbor anymore.
Hopefully some of the new city council candidates are reading this post. Our city needs help!
"Vibrant Palo Alto" has diminished our quality of life, safety and ability to enjoy this once wonderful town."
Dear "Not Good"
Please clarify your phrase "all walks of life have migrated to this area and one doesn't even recognize a friendly neighbor anymore."
I want to know if that includes me.
If we don't stop development and the delusion that this small college town must match Manhattan, London and Los Angeles in vibrancy. energy and hyper commercial activity, we eventually become like Rio De Janeiro. Not in beauty, but those who will be able to afford it, will live behind tall walls protected by armed guards and Dobermans, traveling with bullet proofed cars and body guards, while the rest will live in permanent fear of violent crime. Unlike those cities which have large police forces trained to deal with serious crime, we are virtually unprotected from it because our police force is a small town type of law enforcement agency, understaffed and unprepared to deal with frequent serious crime. The dramatic change of Palo Alto, through an unprecedented development orgy from a quite suburb to what it is now may have crossed the point of no return.
YES, Palo Alto's land-use WILL intensify. More condos, new commercial uses, new schools, higher capacity roads will alter the landscape.
It's part of the "deal with the devil" made by hosting Silicon Valley and its wealth. Growth goes with prosperity and brings change --- that has happened throughout our history. SV's prosperity makes your $70,000 house (built over old orchards and farms not so long ago) now worth $3 million, and everyday its value goes up more.
Palo Alto will never be the same as it was in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s. etc. It will look different, but think more in terms of a racially diverse Beverly Hills rather than a Third World City.
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