News

Atherton police consult FBI on vandalism targeting wealthy

The Atherton Police Department is reviewing material on security cameras made available by residents and consulting with other agencies, including the FBI, in an effort to find the vandals who spray-painted slogans hostile to the wealthy on vehicles, garage doors and other surfaces in the Lindenwood nieghborhood on Feb. 16.

Police Chief Ed Flint said the investigation hasn't produced suspects yet, but the painted messages -- about a dozen of them -- have been removed. The slogans included "F--- the 1 percent" and a message advocating violence, he said.

Although no suspect has been identified, the FBI was consulted because it tracks activist movements such as Occupy Wall Street, which began making national headlines in late 2011 for staging protests against economic inequality and the degree of corporate influence in Washington. The movement coined the term "1 percent" to refer to the country's wealthiest people.

The vandalism occurred between 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. Sunday, according to police. The department issued an alert, and reminded residents to keep their home security systems working; property gates, doors and windows closed; exterior lights on at night; and vehicles locked with no valuables inside the passenger compartment.

Comments

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Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 21, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Gee, I wonder what Tom Perkins would have to say about this.


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Posted by gardener
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2014 at 7:26 am

He'd probably advise Athertonians to change the landscaping in front of their mansions. Spray paint doesn't show up too well on giant hedges.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Whatever & gardener - my thoughts exactly :-)


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Posted by Me
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Probably a hoax.


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Posted by Why
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Why are the police and FBI wasting time on this "crime"?


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Feb 22, 2014 at 11:39 pm

@why
The FBI is called in because it's the wealthy 1% being tagged. The poor have always known that law enforcement is owned by the richest people. Too bad that's still true.

Another reason for heavy police and FBI presence is to intimidate the taggers and send them back across the street to their usual tagging grounds, where they won't have to fear the FBI.

Way too much fuss is being made over tagging that was most probably done by kids copying what they've seen on TV.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2014 at 11:48 am

Right - and the Feds excuse for entre is spying on the Occupiers. Whoever is responsible should be ashamed for 1)damaging the property of others who've likely done them no harm and 2)committing a stupid crime that has no real impact - it won't change the 1% at all, nor does it help their assumed cause.


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Posted by Hey Hay
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Is it OCCUPY? or a hoax, teens, or a false flag?

The FBI?!?!? Wow.

That's like using Homeland Security to bust street tee shirt vendors during the playoffs in SF.

Web Link

What are we protecting?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 24, 2014 at 9:46 am

I'm sure knowing exactly who lived in or owned the homes that were tagged would shed some light on why the FBI was contacted.


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Posted by parent
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm

There are probably a couple of local teenagers painting all this graffiti. Now the town wants the FBI to track them down? Then throw them in Gitmo? I'm sure the city leaders could pretty quickly find the perps by asking their children about teenage chatter at the local schools.


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Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 24, 2014 at 3:12 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

The FBI will get right to work on this. Hold your breath, they will be coming! Get real


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Posted by WheresRGMen?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:44 am

Wow, our current and former residence were broken into 3 times (total)! All we ever received was a "yeah, they were probably in and out in less than 10 minutes", sort of response. No G men for us, or others who have experienced the same misfortune.

Soon they'll be recording episodes of "Cops", in the mean streets of Atherton.


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Posted by Tax payer
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:05 pm

On CBS News they showed that the vandals wrote "kill people" . They fuzzed out a lot of the spray painted words which may have been racist or otherwise offensive. It damaged people's property and threatened them. It IS a crime and probably a HATE crime which is probably why the FBi are checking it out. I hope they catch these thugs targeting hardworking, tax paying citizens.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

"I hope they catch these thugs targeting hardworking, tax paying citizens."

There are a lot of hardworking, taxpaying citizens in other places besides Atherton and I can guarantee the FBI isn't being called in when this kind of thing happens there. This is all about the 1% getting the extra attention they expect and "pay" for.


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Posted by WheresRGMen?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 26, 2014 at 7:39 am

Here, here, Menlo Voter. Couldn't agree more!


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Posted by Hate crimes?
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 26, 2014 at 9:17 am

First, I don't think this can qualify as a "hate crime." Those are defined as crimes motivated by protected class status, such as race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. I'm not sure I agree it should be restricted that way, but it is.

But can this crime be an ominous and dangerous warning? Absolutely. Can it be a couple of punks fooling around? Sure. But given the former possibility, it's not unreasonable to take it seriously.

People with money pay taxes also, and a huge percentage of the tax pie. They may not be entitled to more government services, but (like the new mayor of NYC deciding not to snow plow the upper East side to send a message), certainly not less.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Drudge
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2014 at 10:11 am

Story is up on the Drudge Report right now: Web Link


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2014 at 10:41 am

How can we know if it's a hate crime or not, if we don't really know what the messages said? It may be overblown, as these incidents sometimes are, but we probably won't be told either way. We don't know if the victims were targeted or not, and we don't know if they're in a protected class or not. People in protected classes live everywhere. If the incidents are as minor as this article implies, it's still an eye-roller & MV makes a very good point. I've seen many overreactions in Atherton which result in the police being involved. This just takes it a step further.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hey Hay
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 26, 2014 at 11:06 am

"How can we know if it's a hate crime or not, if we don't really know what the messages said?" True that.

What was the whole message? "...????? kill people"?

- "Cigarettes kill people"?

- "The 1%'s quest for earnings per share kill people"?

- "Let's kill people"?

There's a big difference, depending on the complete message.

my guess: bored lindenwood teens


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2014 at 11:13 am

Hey Hay - you're likely right. That would also be the least harmful scenario.


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Posted by Whats_U_Gonna_Do?
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 26, 2014 at 12:20 pm

WheresRGMen - Cops in Atherton.. what a great episode that would be. Old men drunk on 12 year old single malt tearing their Polo shirts off and swinging putters wildly. Wine and Vodka soaked old women bashing cops with their Hermes handbags and throwing their Manolo Blahnik heels at Volvo Police cars. Trust fund kids busted for boredom induced heroin use.


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