Resident shot at after he confronts thieves | February 4, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 4, 2022

Resident shot at after he confronts thieves

$20K reward offered in shooting in Fairmeadow neighborhood

by Sue Dremann

A nonprofit has offered a $20,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in an interrupted car burglary late Saturday night, when a Palo Alto resident was shot at after confronting people who were stealing from cars.

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Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2022 at 4:13 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

More crime in Palo Alto.

This is disturbing to say the least.

Do Teslas still record this type of thing?

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 30, 2022 at 5:33 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Plus that disgusting incident at Safeway yesterday and a friend whose car was parked in front of her house had its windows smashed Friday. I love how the police reports always say, "Crimes like this are rare in Palo Alto."

Posted by S. Underwood
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 31, 2022 at 9:09 am

S. Underwood is a registered user.

The crime surge is really sad.

Worst of all, we are going to get hammered in elections by an increasingly fascistic right-wing. If I complain about the idiocies of the left, it's only because it's my family and the only hope we've got these days. We can't let the Republicans be the only party that thinks that serious crime is a serious problem and that public safety is job #1 of government. We can't continue to talk as though carrots and big sticks aren't needed.

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 31, 2022 at 10:05 am

Nayeli is a registered user.

@S. Underwood - Why do you have to use crimes like this to point fingers at conservatives and REPUBLICANS? That is a ridiculous approach to this issue. Palo Alto certainly leans left. However, as liberal or "progressive" as this area might be (politically speaking), between a quarter to a third of voters here routinely vote for Republicans. Statewide, it's higher. It's a shame that some posters attempt to negatively stereotype/generalize them.

Yes, the Republicans do take a stronger stand against crime. However, their stand hasn't really changed. It's that there is a subset of liberals who influence the Democratic Party who push for "reforms" that make the consequences of criminal activity to be less severe.

The problem with the latter approach is that it simply doesn't work. Some Democrats like to pass "moral taxation" laws and policies to influence (by cost) the decisions of the people. They pass "sugar taxes" to try and curb obesity. San Jose is passing a new ordinance to require a particularly type of insurance and a yearly fee for gun ownership. This will inevitably fail in the courts -- as it is already being challenged -- but wouldn't diminish crime anyway even if it did pass constitutional muster.

Yet, many of those same individuals don't believe that the penalties of crime should be as high as they are. The consequence is that it led to a higher crime rate -- typically among the very groups that they seek to "help."

There are some crimes that should NOT have high sentences. I would argue that drug possession or use alone shouldn't result in heavy sentences UNLESS it is accompanied by related criminal activity (e.g., theft, violence, etc.). However, all people in the state SHOULD be held to a higher standard when it concerns victimization. Burglary, larceny, violence, sexual assaults, etc. -- these are crimes where a standard must be held.

This isn't a Republican or Democrat issue. It is an issue that affects all law-abiding residents of California.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 31, 2022 at 10:06 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Echoing S. Underwood. This caught my attention because it's so unusual Web Link

"Federal judge bucks prosecutors, jails California man who mailed 75 racist death threats to anti-Trump politicians
Cards included racist language, ‘KKK’ signature"

"In a RARE rebuke of prosecutors, a federal judge handed down a jail sentence to a California man who spent some FOUR YEARS sending dozens of racist death threats on personalized, handmade postcards, court records show.....

The long list of victims ALSO included: U.S. Representatives Jackie Speier, Anna Eshoo, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Adam Schiff; U.S. Senators Dick Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, Mitt Romney, Richard Blumenthal; then-Senator Kamala Harris, California Governors Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, and State Senator Jerry Hill, prosecutors said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Tartakovsky wrote in court records that the threats “caused anxiety, even terror, to recipients and those possibly in harm’s way,” BUT STUCK BY HIS RECOMMENDATION OF A ONE-YEAR PROBATION TERM."

Absurd. The man who threatened to kill, rape etc a PA city councilwoman repeatedly and said he'd cintinue the threats until she changed her phone number got a slap on the wrist and his record expunged because she wasn't "in immediate danger" WHEN PAPD responded Stalkers who threaten one woman over many years get light sentences while prosecutors say we'd have been tougher if the stalker had threatened MORE women instead of just one.

The silence from PA "leaders" and the legal establishment is deafening.

Posted by TorreyaMan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 31, 2022 at 10:53 am

TorreyaMan is a registered user.

Is there really more crime, or do we hear about it more due to resources such as NextDoor and Palo Alto Online?

Posted by Anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 31, 2022 at 10:57 am

Anneke is a registered user.

I worry that at one point citizens will start taking care of these criminals themselves, instead of calling the police if the police does not or cannot react.

These thieves are becoming more and more brazen, and they are a great threat to law abiding citizens.

I would like to see a task force set up between the police and citizens and receive good suggestions from this task force on how to tackle this problem. I would be willing to be a member of this task force.

In the meantime, please keep an eye on your neighbors' homes.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 31, 2022 at 12:01 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"Is there really more crime, or do we hear about it more due to resources such as NextDoor and Palo Alto Online?"

Good question. But crimes we hear about personally from friends and see images of online are never reported. I'm thinking specifically of friends' reports of car break-ins where their windows have been smashed or where 12 cars were hit overnight on their street, including the friend's.

There's been much debate about why and what it takes, for example, for multi-car accidents that close major streets for hours to get reported in the papers and police blotters.

Posted by Jon Keeling
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 31, 2022 at 1:09 pm

Jon Keeling is a registered user.

As a professional self-defense instructor who has done a lot of work with the police, I would like to reiterate what was written in this article: "(The PAPD) recommend... always calling police promptly to report suspicious activity." It is their job to respond to such things. Please be careful not to risk your life for "stuff." In some of my self-defense workshops, we discuss both "exit strategies" and "entry strategies." There is a time to intercede (I've done it on multiple occasions) and a time to step back and let the professionals deal with it.

Posted by Jon Keeling
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 31, 2022 at 1:11 pm

Jon Keeling is a registered user.

@Anneke - Please let me know if you want me to join you on this task force.

Posted by Mondoman
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 31, 2022 at 5:26 pm

Mondoman is a registered user.

Perhaps a partial DIY solution is to install those thermal-sensor-driven sprinklers designed to keep deer away.

Posted by cheese guy
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 31, 2022 at 8:39 pm

cheese guy is a registered user.

Not a great idea of taking a chance of getting killed by confronting someone rifling through unlocked cars looking for parking meter change (or perhaps some electronics, though anyone who leaves electronics in an unlocked car needs a talking to). Please call the police from the safety of your home, but really, be prepared for bad things happening if you confront someone in the dark of the middle of the night. Sad, but true.

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2022 at 9:23 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Don't leave anything in your vehicle, keep your doors locked, call the police and don't chase suspects. Vehicle burglary is one crime that is preventable. Men chase suspects because they're testosterone driven and their ego gets in the way. Sad, but true.

Posted by Seer
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 31, 2022 at 11:15 pm

Seer is a registered user.

Well, that defund the police and those poor incarcerated people (each of whom is relatively WAY richer than my law-abiding parents when they grew up) is a political bust. These guys are gang members who have a revolving door even if caught going "shopping". Obviously, someone is going to get murdered and then maybe there will be an unwoke reaction.

My friend had their Prius stolen, taken for a joy ride, lots of evidence left in the car when it was found minus catalytic converter. The Palo Alto police couldn't give the slightest damn about it -- maybe because of staffing and lack of consequences if they even do catch the thieves.

Posted by staying home
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 1, 2022 at 4:24 pm

staying home is a registered user.

@DonnaDiamond: I think this is where you can jump in and comment about the lack of communication from the PAPD is contributing to the fear. Is crime in PA going up or is it just the perception?

Posted by TimR
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 2, 2022 at 9:04 am

TimR is a registered user.

The worrisome development here is, checking for unlocked cars to rob seems like a pretty low-level, "amateur" crime. And yet, they not only had a gun with them, they were willing and readily use it. All of a sudden, what appears to be not a huge deal in the greater scheme of things becomes a very serious threat to society. Maybe there is no such thing as "petty theft" anymore? But whatever you term it, it's a huge escalation in violence.

Posted by Weifeng Pan
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 2, 2022 at 10:16 am

Weifeng Pan is a registered user.

Take guns away from law abiding citizens while bad guys can get their hands on guns regardless, and this is what becomes daily occurrence.

Posted by Tina
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 2, 2022 at 10:38 am

Tina is a registered user.

"Is there really more crime, or do we hear about it more due to resources such as NextDoor and Palo Alto Online?"

I have considered that as well and my conclusion is that it doesn't matter.

What matters is that it is a problem, and the amount of crime is too high. We shouldn't justify the high amount of crimes by saying to ourselves 'oh, well, that's only because we hear about it now, whereas in the past, we didn't.' That leads to do nothing approach, which we will all pay for in the end with more crime.

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