Town Square

How do I tell what happened on my street today?

Original post made by Nosey, Midtown, on Jan 8, 2008

A house on my street has been taped off with "police line do not cross" tape and a Palo Alto Police car has been there for a while - how do I find out what happened? I know the PA Daily has a police blotter, but what if the story isn't there?

Thanks in advance for any helpful responses.


Posted by Privacy
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 8, 2008 at 2:32 pm

If an incident involved children, sexual assault or domestic violence, perhaps it's not any of your business. You can call the police dept. and ask what you're allowed to know, or approach the officer and ask him/her.

Posted by Tyler Hanley
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on Jan 8, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Tyler Hanley is a registered user.

According to Palo Alto police, it was an "unattended death." The resident passed away from natural causes, likely diabetes, according to police.

Posted by Nosey
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 8, 2008 at 5:48 pm

PA Editor - thanks. Is the police line tape to keep out the local Realtors circling for a listing?

Posted by janette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 9, 2008 at 6:08 am

I think domestic assault is anyone's business. Then the neighbors could keep an eye out in future for the victim's welfare.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2008 at 8:45 am

Whereas something like this may not be our business, we are expected to be vigilant and take note of what goes on in our neighborhoods. If crime scene tape is around something in our neighborhood, it is only natural to speculate and more often than not we would imagine something much worse than what really happened. Telling the neighbors what is happening is polite and neighborly or else next time someone sees something suspicious they may turn away thinking "it is probably none of my business".

Posted by carrie
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 18, 2008 at 1:27 am

Whenever a homeowner dies, there is good reason to block off the residence with "crime scene" tape. When the owner of a home dies, various Palo Alto realtors will be attracted to the residence and often circle the area waiting for a child of the deceased or an executor to appear. Then realtors will scramble to give this person their business cards and glossy brochures in the hopes of getting the house as a listing. It's similar to buzzards tearing the flesh off of road kill, but not as dignified or civilized.

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 19, 2008 at 12:05 am

I would advocate gratefully accepting those cards and brochures and collecting them in those early days. They can be useful. When the time comes to make a sale, consult those contacts for a list of who NOT to call. Also, write to the corporate heads of their agencies to express distaste for the vulture tactics.

My mother passed away last year. Any realtor attempting to contact our family about a listing within the first few weeks of her passing would have been automatically backballed. When the time came, *WE* made the contacts.