News


Robbers invade Midtown home, steal elderly woman's jewelry, money, car

Police searching for two men last seen in Honda Civic

Update on May 22: Police have arrested two teenage boys in connection with Tuesday's home invasion robbery in Palo Alto's Midtown neighborhood. Read the full story here.

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Two men who broke into a Midtown home alarmed an elderly woman who was forced to hand over her jewelry, money and other personal property before they left in her car Tuesday afternoon, Palo Alto police said.

The home invasion robbery was reported at about 12:45 p.m. in the 900 block of Colorado Avenue near Louis Road, just north of Seale Park. Officers learned two men entered the home by kicking a side door and encountered a woman in her 70s, police said in a press release issued Tuesday night.

The duo demanded she hand over personal items, including jewelry she was wearing and money, police said. They then went to the garage where they stole her car which they used as their getaway vehicle. They were last seen heading east on Colorado Avenue.

The woman was neither harmed nor threatened by the men, who didn't display any weapons, according to police.

Officers were called to the residence soon after the robbery and searched the neighborhood for the men, but were unable to find them.

The robbers each appeared to be Hispanic, between 17 and 19 year old, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, thin built and with short, dark hair. One of the men was seen in a black shirt and black pants. The other wore a light gray-hooded sweatshirt and faded red pants.

The vehicle they stole was a white 2004 four-door Honda Civic with California license plate No. 5JUD666.

Investigators may release a sketch of the robbers if the woman is able to work with a police artist.

Anyone with information about Tuesday's home invasion robbery is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.

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Comments

32 people like this
Posted by Elderly?
a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2019 at 8:12 pm

This is awful.

But, please stop use of the term "elderly" to describe someone in their 70s. Many people of this age are our civic leaders and potential presidential hopefuls. They are no longer the frail old grannies of yore.

Hopefully PAPD will catch these hooligans soon.


21 people like this
Posted by Another PA Crime
a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2019 at 8:22 pm

> But, please stop use of the term "elderly" to describe someone in their 70s.

Yes. People are living longer now & 70 is the new 50.

Were these robbers from out of town (as usual)? Stealing the victim's car wasn't very bright as they will probably get caught and charged with an additional crime.
General descriptions seem to be following a pattern in PA.


6 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on May 21, 2019 at 9:54 pm

fyi - the police press release also uses the term "elderly", so the newspaper isn't completely at fault in this cut-and-paste article. The phone number of the police public affairs manager is at the top of the press release:
Web Link


24 people like this
Posted by Positively Geriatric
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 21, 2019 at 10:05 pm

Dear Boys & Girls at Palo Alto Online:

I'm 66 and you may call me "elderly" in about 30 years - *after* I surrender my skateboard and stop coaching Rugby.

Seriously - how about leaving age out of it entirely?


48 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of College Terrace
on May 22, 2019 at 7:46 am

Crimes against persons over 65 years of age is an additional charge of crimes against the ELDERLY per CA penal code. So it’s informative with regards to nature of the crime. It’s just words, deal.


26 people like this
Posted by Another PA Crime
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2019 at 8:49 am

> Crimes against persons over 65 years of age is an additional charge of crimes against the ELDERLY per CA penal code.

Very astute addendum. Home break-in + robbery + car theft + elder abuse crime = some serious time in the CA state prison system if/when apprehended & convicted.

No sympathy for the suspects. Maximum sentencing guidelines recommended with minimal time-off for 'good behavior' while incarcerated [portion removed.]


21 people like this
Posted by Ty
a resident of Mountain View
on May 22, 2019 at 11:30 am

The article states that police said "the woman was neither harmed nor threatened by the men." Isn't kicking in someone's door, by definition, threatening? I would sure feel threatened if someone kicked in my door.


12 people like this
Posted by From Outside Of Palo Alto
a resident of Ventura
on May 22, 2019 at 1:06 pm

Where do these crooks come from? I seriously doubt if they are Palo Alto residents.
They always seem to fit a certain description but nobody actually recognizes them.
Has Palo Alto established a reputation as easy prey for home burglaries, assaults and car break-ins? It's hard to imagine PA inhabitants doing this to their fellow neighbors. This kind of activity is usually more prevalent in towns and communities with a lower socio-economic standing and populace.


5 people like this
Posted by Outraged down the street
a resident of Green Acres
on May 22, 2019 at 3:56 pm

I don't care where you live, who you are, the trauma allocated to this woman is fast becoming the norm in our society...from home invasions to petty armed robberies. Unfortunately, don't think it can't happen to you. Having to live with the aftermath of being personally taken advantaged of will take a long while to let the shock of it all calm down your fears of what happened to you then and hoping paranoia won't get the best of you, So sad for this woman, I hope her recovery comes quickly.


5 people like this
Posted by just another old fheartt
a resident of Green Acres
on May 22, 2019 at 4:20 pm

>> ...fast becoming the norm in our society...from home invasions to petty armed robberies.

No. Crime is down. Look at any chart covering any significant number of years.

Quit fear-mongering. Who do you think you are - fox news or some other fear-mongering media hype-ster?



////////


Violent crime in the U.S. has fallen sharply over the past quarter century. The two most commonly cited sources of crime statistics in the U.S. both show a substantial decline:
- the annual report by the FBI of serious crimes reported to police in approximately 18,000 jurisdictions around the country
- the annual survey of more than 90,000 households conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which asks Americans ages 12 and older whether they were victims of crime, regardless of whether they reported those crimes to the police

Also:

- Property crime has declined significantly over the long term.

- Public perceptions about crime in the U.S. often don’t align with the data.

(that's you, in case you are having difficulty identifying yourself)


See: Pew Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Valerie
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2019 at 4:34 pm

What a shocking ordeal for this neighbor. I'm so sorry she had to experience this. I hope that she has neighbors, friends and family who are bringing her food, offering comfort, etc.


4 people like this
Posted by Wow Palo Alto Online comments suck
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2019 at 4:37 pm

They are just a bunch of angry people with strange worldviews and no evidence :-)


6 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2019 at 4:38 pm

Posted by just another old fheartt, a resident of Green Acres

>> Violent crime in the U.S. has fallen sharply over the past quarter century.

In part due to the steady decline in lead in the environment over the previous quarter century. No kidding:

Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on May 22, 2019 at 4:43 pm

Palo Alto Police reports that (thanks to help from witnesses who saw the perps fleeing the scene), they have arrested 2 suspects in this case. Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 22, 2019 at 5:13 pm

My sincere sympathies to the victim of this hateful act. I hope justice is forthcoming in your case.

> Violent crime in the U.S. has fallen sharply over the past quarter century.

We are talking about Palo Alto, not the whole United States. That's a meaningless statistic to apply to an individual person or city across the whole country. That is, there may still be plenty of places where violent crime went down, and yet plenty of places where violent crime when up as well. OR, this may be a per capita number.

Not to mention the fluctuations in statistics, i.e. the noise, can swamp the number so that crime may go up for a few years in one city, then the police respond, and it moves to another city. Those numbers tell you nothing, so drop the condescending lectures please!

If you want to be comforted by that number great, but quoting that number here is a meaningless act, and rather trollish considering that most of us in Palo Alto do not want to see this kind of thing proliferate, no matter what is happening across the country. A little consideration about the problem would be nice.

In the past few years there have been quite a few cases of people being attacked on the street, and this is one of the first cases of a home invasion I have heard about in a long time. I would like to know more about this type of crime - from a real data source ... the Palo Alto Police Dept. Maybe if or after this crime is solved they can give us some idea of the scope and best ways to prevent and handle this when or it it happens.

As long as bad people can jump into a car and go joyriding to find a house that looks easy to target or a person or couple walking alone and think they have a good chance of getting away with robbing someone we have to worry. It is not fear-mongering at all.


5 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 22, 2019 at 5:17 pm

Thanks resident

> The first male suspect is a 15 year old on probation out of San Jose for vehicle theft, burglary, attempted carjacking, attempted robbery, assault and battery, and possession of burglary tools. The second male suspect is a 17 year old on probation out of San Jose for burglary, attempted carjacking, attempted robbery, robbery, vehicle theft, and tampering with a vehicle. He was also arrested by San Jose Police for residential burglary, resisting arrest and battery on an officer.

Great work PAPD. Now let's hope our courts work to keep these obvious miscreants ... alledged miscreants locked up for a very long time ... maybe until they are age of their victim.


13 people like this
Posted by Another PA Crime
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2019 at 5:32 pm

"> The first male suspect is a 15 year old on probation out of San Jose for vehicle theft, burglary, attempted carjacking, attempted robbery, assault and battery, and possession of burglary tools. The second male suspect is a 17 year old on probation out of San Jose for burglary, attempted carjacking, attempted robbery, robbery, vehicle theft, and tampering with a vehicle. He was also arrested by San Jose Police for residential burglary, resisting arrest and battery on an officer."

Wow. They sound like career criminals despite their young age.

The violence factor is disturbing.

Forget rehabilitation. Just lock them up for awhile. They are not going to change for the better.


4 people like this
Posted by just another old fheartt
a resident of Green Acres
on May 22, 2019 at 5:51 pm

>> We are talking about Palo Alto, not the whole United States. That's a meaningless statistic .... OR, this may be a per capita number....Not to mention the fluctuations in statistics, i.e. the noise, can swamp the number so that crime may go up for a few years in one city, then the police respond, and it moves to another city.

>> Those numbers tell you nothing, so drop the condescending lectures please!

Talk about condescending? Those ARE the NUMBERS. I gave you the link. Any google search will verify. Even FOX NEWS will tell you crime is down - WAIT-A-MINUTE - they just did, nine hours ago: Web Link

Show me the numbers for Palo Alto the last 20 30 or 40 years.

You won't, will you? Some folks rather live in a fact-less bubble, using (in this case, horrific) anecdotes to paint a false narrative.

Crime is down. Fact. This incident was awful, also a fact. Claiming the world is going to hell because crime is up, is a lie.

>> It is not fear-mongering at all.

Yes, it is. When the poster spreads false information to create fear ("fast becoming the norm in our society") it is the very definition of fear-mongering.

This is still a great town, let's work to make it better, not scare the bejebus outta folks.

We're better than that.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2019 at 6:06 pm

So very pleased that these young people have been apprehended by the police, Well Done to all concerned.

However, it is deeply concerning to me that these were two young people with such a history of similar crimes. As a society, this should shock us that basically children are doing these types of crimes. Is it gangs, drugs, lack of parental role modeling, illegal immigration, or what? How are we as a society failing to lift youth in jeopardy out of bad circumstances to make better choices for their lives.

I doubt if these two can be rehabilitated. I only wish they could.


8 people like this
Posted by Another PA Crime
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2019 at 6:45 pm

> Crime is down. Look at any chart covering any significant number of years.

Correct. But that was past tense and statistics can change again over time.

Palo Alto has developed a reputation over the years as a safe and affluent town. Perhaps a sense of complacency is settling in...which in turn attracts new criminals who now view PA as ripe for the taking. Who knows?

Palo Alto seems to attract more criminals from outside its immediate vicinity than within so maybe word out on the street is...Palo Alto is a good town to hit nowadays for an easy car/residential burglary or a mugging/assault.

The individuals arrested for the Stanford Shopping Center auto break-ins over the holidays came from as far away as Antioch. That's a long ways for a prospective thief to travel.

Nowadays it's almost easy to recognize an 'questionable' outsider in Palo Alto. Profiling aside, the arrest records seem to indicate a reoccurring description and common sense dictates that it's always best to be on the precautionary side.
Not paranoid, just a general awareness of suspicious-looking people in general.



2 people like this
Posted by just another old fheartt
a resident of Green Acres
on May 22, 2019 at 7:06 pm

awwww, c'mon now, really?!?!

>> and statistics can change again over time.

Yes, like the statistic that says you haven't won the powerball yet - IT COULD CHANGE TOMORROW!

>> Palo Alto has developed a reputation

Not measurable, just an opinion.

>> Perhaps ... blah blah ... Who knows?

Yes. Perhaps. Who knows?

>> Palo Alto seems ... so maybe...

What a great argument against numbers. Maybe. Well, it seems to be.

C'mon folks, I can't believe you haven't bothered to look. This is up on our own website. You can delve further on the FBI site.


Crimes 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Totals 1802 1485 1338 1494 1555 1374 1778 1529 1880 1597

Year Offenses
2018 5,715
2017 5,938
2016 5,534
2015 6,729
2014 6,058
2013 5,764
2012 5,607
2011 4,921
2010 5,463
2009 6,171

Slice and dice all you want. Saying crime is up is a falsehood. It is fear-mongering.

Every crime is a tragedy. Don't make it worse with fear.





4 people like this
Posted by Another PA Crime
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2019 at 7:17 pm

If you graph those crime numbers from 2009-2018 they are not purely on a downward trend except maybe for the last 2 years! Things can change. Note 2011-2015.

> Yes, like the statistic that says you haven't won the powerball yet - IT COULD CHANGE TOMORROW!

Gil Cisneros, Congressman from Orange County lost his job at Frito-Lay & two weeks later won $266M in the Mega Millions drawing. He established some philanthropic trusts and then financed his successful run for Congress. Not only that, he is a Democrat in a predominantly conservative Republican district.

So play your $2 bucks...what have you got to lose?


2 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 22, 2019 at 7:56 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@just another old fheartt

CrescentParkAnon is right, national numbers are meaningless to any particular community. Are going to argue that unemployment is low in El Centro(19%) or Yuma(20%) because the national unemployment rate has dropped to 3.6%?

You can take a look at the Palo Alto numbers and see that many crimes have been on the upswing for the last 5-6 years.

Web Link

BTW, this is a quotation from the article you linked to:

From 2014 to 2016, nationwide violent crime increased by nearly 7 percent -- with a troubling 21 percent increase in the murder rate. 2015 alone saw an 11 percent increase in murders, the largest annual increase since 1968.

Some of our large cities suffered the brunt of this violent crime spike with the murder rate rising in 22 of the 34 largest cities in 2016."


2 people like this
Posted by Outraged down the street
a resident of Green Acres
on May 23, 2019 at 5:22 am

Sounds like we have a lot of mathematicians in our midst...!! If I wanted to be a fear monger I would have up scaled the conversation to "well, it happened in East Palo Alto years ago"(Murder capitol of the U.S.A.~ but that was not my intention. Thanks to others on this thread who understood.


Like this comment
Posted by just another old fheartt
a resident of Green Acres
on May 23, 2019 at 9:14 am

>> From 2014 to 2016, nationwide violent crime increased by nearly 7 percent

And immediately dropped back, as it has since the 70's. Follow your own link. Follow other links to more detailed info from the FBI.

You linked to the page with the information I already posted.

Crimes 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Totals 1802 1485 1338 1494 1555 1374 1778 1529 1880 1597

Year Offenses
2018 5,715
2017 5,938
2016 5,534
2015 6,729
2014 6,058
2013 5,764
2012 5,607
2011 4,921
2010 5,463
2009 6,171


Like this comment
Posted by just another old fheartt
a resident of Green Acres
on May 23, 2019 at 9:15 am

typo

* since the 90's.


2 people like this
Posted by They Come To PA For A Reason
a resident of Midtown
on May 23, 2019 at 3:12 pm

Crime fluctuates & Palo Alto is now being viewed as easy pickins' by outsiders.

Crooks now come from all over to tap into this potential gold mine.

They are not locals or your neighbor's kids.

Palo Alto (generally speaking) is also anti-firearm to a certain extent and the perpetrators know there is minimal chance of them getting shot...unlike a red
or redneck community.


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