Police calls: Resident defrauded by vacation homeowner

Burglar takes $15,000 in wine from Beltramo's

This information is from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office and the Menlo Park Police Department. Under the law, people charged with offenses are considered innocent unless convicted. The dates police received the report are shown.


Fraud report: A resident of Manzanita Avenue is out $12,600 in rent paid to someone claiming, over email, to be the owner of a vacation home. Dec. 28.

Theft reports:

■ Someone stole a laptop computer valued at $1,500 from an unlocked vehicle parked on Camino A Los Cerros. Jen. 6.

■ A woman living on Valparaiso Avenue, having had her credit card declined twice, learned that the card issuer had locked it after someone else had used the card number to make a purchase of $2,183 at an Apple store in Pleasonton. Dec. 31.


Theft report: An outdoor heater worth $1,200 is missing from the front of the Lobster Shack restaurant in the Country Shopper mall on Alpine Road. Dec. 22.


Residential burglary report: Someone broke into a house on Escobar Road through a smashed front window and stole jewelry and cash, a total loss estimated at $5,500. Dec. 18.

Auto burglary report: The owner of a locked Volkswagen Tiguan returned to find a rear passenger side window smashed while the car had been parked in the Windy Hill Open Space Preserve parking lot on Portola Road. Dec. 17.

Fraud reports:

■ A resident of the 4000 block of Alpine Road reported an unauthorized cash advance of $4,800 charged to his credit card. Jan 2.

■ A resident of Tynan Way received two packages of merchandise, a $79 value that he had not ordered, then learned that an unauthorized line of credit of $2,450 had been created in his name at the PayPal service Bill Me Later. The resident found that his Social Security number had been compromised. Jan. 8.

Traffic accident report: A driver heading west on Alpine Road collided with a cyclist heading east on Alpine Road as the vehicle was making a left turn on to Los Trancos Road. The mid afternoon sun had been "blinding" the driver, preventing him from seeing the oncoming cyclist who collided with the vehicle's passenger-side quarter panel. The cyclist left her bike and landed on the vehicle's hood, according to the report. She complained of pain to her left side and was taken to Stanford Hospital. Dec. 25.

Controlled substance report: A ranger from the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District encountered two hikers in the Windy Hill Open Space Preserve, detected "a strong odor resembling marijuana," and asked the hikers about it. They told the ranger they had been smoking marijuana. The ranger then asked for permission, which was granted, to examine their backpacks and found "a small amount of marijuana, a small container which contained hash oil residue, marijuana pipes (paraphernalia), commercial bags of herbal supplements, and a prescription bottle of Hydrocodone." The marijuana and paraphernalia did not rise to the standard for prosecution, but one of the hikers was cited for possession of a prescription drug (the Hydrocodone). Dec. 31.


Residential burglary report: Gardeners alerted deputies from the Sheriff's Office to a broken rear window of a house on Moore Road. The house appeared to have been ransacked while the residents were away; dresser drawers and closets were found opened. Dec. 18.

Auto burglary report:

■ An Infiniti G37X with its right front passenger window broken was found parked in the area of Old La Honda Road near the Dennis Martin Creek gate of the Thornewood Preserve. The reported loss is $125. Dec. 17.

■ The owner of a vehicle parked in the 4000 block of Woodside Road returned to find the rear driver side window smashed and her purse missing after having stashed it behind the rear seat. Losses are estimated at $450. Dec. 26.


Commercial burglary report: In an overnight incident, someone pried open the rear door of Beltramo's Wines and Spirits at 1540 El Camino Real, broke into a wine cabinet and stole $15,000 worth of fine wine. Jan. 12.

Residential burglary reports:

■ Tools valued at $4,500 are missing from a residence on Fanita Way. Someone entered the house through an unlocked rear door and stole a rake, wet (tile) saw, radio, toolbox, mixer, grinder and polisher. Jan. 10.

■ Two bicycles are missing from an unlocked garage on Oak Knoll Lane, a total loss of $1,500. Jan. 12.

■ Someone pried open a rear door and stole an air compressor, chop saw, bucket, paint sprayer and paint brush from a house on Stanford Avenue. Jan. 04.

Auto burglary reports:

■ A $1,000 laptop computer is missing from a vehicle with a smashed rear window and parked in the 500 block of El Camino Real. Jan. 7.

■ Someone smashed the left rear passenger window of a car parked at the Bedwell Bayfront Park and stole from the trunk a purse containing credit cards and $40 in cash, a total loss of $228. Jan. 7.

■ Leaving no clues as to how the locked vehicle parked at the Bedwell Bayfront Park was opened, someone entered and stole a wallet, credit cards and $20 in cash, a loss estimated at $39. Jan. 5.

Theft reports:

■ A $592 parking permit is missing from a vehicle parked on Chestnut Street. Jan. 7.

■ Showing no signs of forced entry, someone stole a $1,300 laptop computer from inside a house on McKendry Drive. Jan. 6.

■ An electric Razor scooter that had been locked with a bike lock under a carport on Coleman Place is missing. The loss is estimated at $250. Jan. 11.

■ A package containing two men's ski shirts worth a total of $220 and another package containing a $100 pair of shoes were missing from the front porches of two homes on Bay Laurel Drive. The empty boxes were found further up the road. Jan. 3.

Fraud reports:

■ A resident of Partridge Avenue sent a postal money order for $535 to an address in Florida in response to a phone call from someone claiming to be working for the "U.S. Treasury Department." The caller told the resident to send the money order to claim a lump sum of money that he'd won. Jan. 8.

■ Using the personal identity information of a resident of Continental Drive, someone tried twice and failed twice to open credit accounts with two retail stores, but succeeded in getting a $300 payday loan. Jan. 4.

■ A resident of McKendry Drive learned from a credit card company that someone had attempted to make a $5,000 purchase using her personal identity information, including her Social Security number. Jan. 7.

Dave Boyce


Like this comment
Posted by gunste
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jan 17, 2014 at 1:31 pm

We keep reading the escalating incidence of property crime. Are any ever solved? Unlikely, since that is a very low priority for law enforcement.

Like this comment
Posted by tom h
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm

That's a lot of wine to carry.
Beltramos does not have an alarm system? Really

Like this comment
Posted by Hanky B
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jan 17, 2014 at 5:46 pm

The P.D. can make more money hiding behind Oak Trees.

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