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Another home-invasion robbery reported

Original post made on Nov 16, 2009

A man forced his way into a Mountain View woman's apartment through a closed window early Saturday morning, held her at gunpoint and forced her to drive to a bank and withdraw cash for him, police said. Police are unsure if the robbery is connected to a home-invasion robbery in Palo Alto in October or an earlier robbery in Mountain View.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, November 16, 2009, 8:15 AM

Comments (17)

Posted by Ugh
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2009 at 10:04 am

Such a relief the victim is ok. I can't imagine her terror. And being that desperate for money? It makes me wonder what he'll do next. Also, questions, if they catch this guy: did he watch her and her place to ensure it was a woman alone, before he broke in, or would he have done the same to an apt. housing a couple, or a man, or a family?

Having a dog is generally a good safety measure, but most apartments don't allow it, unfortunately.


Posted by Sarah
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 16, 2009 at 10:20 am

According to newspaper reports, there have been 3 similar home-invasion robberies (2 in Mountain View, 1 in Palo Alto). All the victims were single women.


Posted by sue
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 16, 2009 at 11:24 am

guess the secure window was not that secure...what more can one
do except lock up at night time? that is disturbing....
i lock everything up tight at night and now that is not enough?


Posted by Palo Alto neighbor
a resident of Monroe Park
on Nov 16, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Professional security systems can be set to go off if there is a perimeter violation even while one is home. All you have to do is turn off the motion-detection portion of the system when arming the system.


Posted by CGNer
a resident of Hoover School
on Nov 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I would suggest that if the woman was living alone, that she take some form of a gun safety class and purchase a home defense weapon (shotgun) and load it with NON-lethal or frangible ammunition (since she is in apartment, and cannot risk over-penetration) such as rock salt. Generally, a gun alone can act as a deterrent, without even firing it.

A dog may not be the best option, because with a dog brings vet bills, food costs, grooming costs, etc. Anyone here who has owned a dog can probably say that having one and treating it well is not cheap. On the other hand, a gun and a gun training class is a one or two time expense, and altogether cheaper than owning a dog. Also, dogs (minus hairless chihuahua's- they probably wouldn't make good guard dogs) leave hair everywhere!

Another option of course, is doing nothing. Criminals are not always as "benevolent" as the ones in this article. Consider that criminals can take away far more than material goods before mentioning that they are only after money. To keep my post PG I won't link to any, but if you have doubts about criminals not wanting *just* monetary goods, use Google.

Finally, if you are "against" guns, I implore you read my post with an open mind.


Posted by Gun Owner
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm

"Finally, if you are "against" guns, I implore you read my post with an open mind."

My mind is as open as the barrel of my .357 but your "make my day" advice will only get someone killed. Don't forget, the perp came in unexpected, with his gun at the ready. Very few homeowners can maintain the necessary level of round the clock vigilance to counter that.

I say catch the turkey and put him in the general cellblock population, while ensuring the population knows he targets women.


Posted by Ugh
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Why are so many of these threads turning pro gun? What good would a shotgun have done her when she was asleep til she woke up w/the gun being pointed at her? Nothing. But a dog would've woke up, most likely and also likely, scared the intruder away. Yeah, vet bills, yadda yadda yadda. My point was that in this area, many apts won't even let you have a small dog, and they are still deterrents, as they yap. In light of what she went through, if she was allowed a dog, vet bills, dog food, etc. may seem a small inconvenience compared to the terrifying "inconvenience" of being marched at gunpoint to her car and bank, after the guy broke in and burglarized her of cash. Yeah, I'd opt for the dog if allowed.


Posted by abc
a resident of Meadow Park
on Nov 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm

such a prison oriented society,never any cure for modern america,people must realize that some people take things out of spite because youre society wronged them. its not just to get money. you make people very angry witrh your jailing mentality.you need to be put in your own jail,be nice


Posted by Wondering
a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 16, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Would pepper spray be effective in this situation if the spray canister was kept hidden until the last second, or is that too risky?

If too risky, then perhaps put a five-foot tall bookshelf in front of the window?


Posted by Ugh
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Pepper spray is often a good idea, but it seems in this scenario it was risky. Always hard to know how to calculate that risk, unless one is in it. I've used pepper spray twice: once when my dog was attacked by another dog and once when an irate driver got out of her car and approached me at a stop sign, threatening me. In both cases, not only was I in the right (which doesn't prevent injuries or death), but I was able to plan a few seconds ahead of time, which I found to be crucial. I just found the salt rock loaded shotgun scenario ridiculous, since the break in happened while the victim was asleep. I like the bookshelf idea, but who wants to live in a super dark place? It's really hard to outplan these thugs sometimes!


Posted by CGNer
a resident of Hoover School
on Nov 16, 2009 at 8:03 pm

After review (by you guys), the loaded shotgun idea seems more impractical, especially since it seems she was asleep and not immediately aroused when the burglar broke in.

I was thinking more in terms of a home as opposed to an apartment- in which a shotgun might be a practical option- because in all likelihood you will have more time than in an apartment to wake up and react, unless the burglar happens to jump directly into your room. This coupled with an alarm system (that makes nice loud buzzing noises) could work well.

The bookshelf idea might be decent- but as "Ugh" mentioned, it'll make yer place dark. Maybe find a better way to secure the window beyond the built in lock? My house has sliding windows, so using wood blocks can prevent entry unless of course the burglar should decide to break the window (this would DEFINITELY wake someone up). However, I am not sure if similar methods are applicable to windows such as the one the lady possessed.

And Gun owner- "I say catch the turkey and put him in the general cellblock population, while ensuring the population knows he targets women."- This might be a little hard, given her description (or lack thereof) of the perp.


Posted by John
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Why do I get the sense there is more to the story than what's been reported? Meaning that the victim is probably not telling all the details to the police.


Posted by Ugh
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2009 at 10:44 pm

John, I think that if the police are holding back details, it's for the case, but I don't think the victim is holding anything back, because this situation is very similar in many ways to 2 recent home invasion/burglaries. However, from what the media are indicating, or at least reporting, no victim has been forced to drive to get money.


Posted by Sarah
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 16, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Some other newspapers are reporting more details on these crimes. Check the other reports before blaming the victim.


Posted by Cynthia Davis
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2009 at 1:02 am

Usual comments when the suspect is obviously caucasain . I'm shocked the media is even reporting it.

Where is that officer that is always screaming for blood when a minority is involved? Awfully quiet for a change. Interesting!

Maybe I hit a sore spot, and we'll see some "intelligent" ranting.


Posted by to Cynthia
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 17, 2009 at 2:41 am

Where is that officer that is always screaming for blood when a minority is involved? "

He is busy railroading minorities. I always thought justice was color blind, and boy I was wrong.


Posted by to ms. davis
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 17, 2009 at 1:58 pm

an african american person was forcibly detained in a palo alto restaurant by a white customer who thought the persons grocery bag had her computer that she was recharging in the rest room the african american walked out of! she wouldnt even tell the african american why she was stopping their body from leaving a rest room!!


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