Police calls: Purse stolen from grocery cart


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


Theft reports:

■ Someone fraudulently used the credit card of a resident of Greer Road to buy $20,500 worth of solar panels from an Oregon business and have the panels delivered to an address in Laredo, Texas. Feb. 12.

■ A woman pushed her grocery cart out to her car in the parking lot of Roberts Market and parked the cart near her vehicle's front door. She took out a bag of groceries, put it in her car, and sat inside for a while. When she got out to get a pen from her $6,000 Hermes purse that was also in the cart, the cart and her purse were gone. Feb. 5.


Residential burglary reports:

■ In a case of forced entry, someone broke into a home on Fairview Avenue and stole a Rolex Executive watch, a gold necklace, a gold Cartier Tank watch and about 100 pieces of jewelry, including rings, earrings and pendants, altogether a loss of about $12,500. Feb. 15.

■ A house on Spencer Lane was broken into and a Lancel purse, $1,200 in cash, a $500 gift card and typical purse contents were stolen for a loss totaling $2,100. Feb. 18.

Theft report: Someone stole $145 in cash from a wallet left on the console of an unlocked vehicle parked on Maple Avenue. Feb. 11.


Auto burglary report: The owners of two vehicles parked at Alpine Road and Willowbrook Drive returned after hiking to find their windows smashed and items missing, including a small coin purse from a glove compartment and from rear luggage compartments, a purse and a large bag. Feb. 5.


Auto burglary report: Someone smashed the window of a vehicle parked on N. Castanya Way and stole a purse from the front seat. The total loss is about $5,000 in property and cash. Feb. 1.


Prescription medicine was stolen from a mailbox on Leland Avenue, with the empty shipping bag found ripped open a couple of blocks away. Feb. 10.


Residential burglary reports:

■ Someone entered a home on Cotton Street through an unlocked rear door and stole an $1,800 laptop computer that had been sitting on a desk. Feb. 11.

■ A $1,700 laptop computer is missing from a house on San Mateo Drive. The rear door had been unlocked. Feb. 13.

Commercial burglary reports:

■ Someone kicked in the door of Menlo Joe's Shoe Repair at 1177 El Camino Real and stole $750 and a $120 pair of insoles. Feb. 22.

■ A woman entered the Willows Market at Middlefield and Willow roads and walked out with a bottle of beer and dog food that she had not paid for. Police arrested her nearby and booked her into San Mateo County jail on suspicion of burglary. Feb. 18.

■ A woman entered Celia's Mexican Restaurant at 1850 El Camino Real and ordered food and an alcoholic beverage. She left with a take-out box holding the remains of her meal but without having paid for the meal. Police arrested her a short distance away from the restaurant and booked her into jail on suspicion of burglary. Feb. 19.

■ On two occasions, two suspects were seen on a video surveillance camera trying to enter DSSD, Inc. on Bohannon Drive via the front door. They were unsuccessful on both occasions, and on one occasion wore dust masks. Feb. 9 and 14.

Auto burglary report: Someone smashed a window of a vehicle parked in the 1100 block of El Camino Real and stole a tote bag containing $150 in personal property. Feb. 12.

Theft reports:

■ A computer accessory with a value of $1,850 was taken from a desk in an unlocked office in the 900 block of Santa Cruz Avenue. Feb. 13.

■ Someone stole a $500 bicycle from in front of an apartment building on Coleman Place. Feb. 10.

■ Someone stole a $500 bicycle from the backyard of a home on Waverley Street. Feb. 10.

■ An Apple iPhone with a $499 value was taken from a location in the 800 block of Alma Street. Feb. 13.

■ Someone stole an unlocked bike in the 500 block of El Camino Real. Feb. 8.

■ A purse containing credit cards and a driver's license and less than $30 in cash was taken from an unlocked car parked on Santa Margarita Avenue. A $50 loss, all told. Feb. 13.

■ Vehicle registration and insurance information was taken from the glove compartment of an unlocked vehicle parked on Stanford Avenue. Feb. 18.

Fraud reports:

■ A resident of Trinity Drive wired $2,000 to someone who called claiming to be his grandson and had requested $4,000. Feb. 11.

■ A resident of Ivy Drive received a phone call from a man claiming to be a police officer who told her of an arrest warrant in her name and that she could avoid being arrested by sending him $900. She said said did not have the money, and told the caller so. He also requested her Social Security number, driver's license number and debit card information, all of which she gave to him. Feb. 18.

■ A resident of Oakhurst Place went to her bank to arrange a wire transfer of $7,500 in response to a phone call that asked for the money to "free her imprisoned grandson." The bank teller refused to carry out the transaction and advised her to contact police, which she did. Feb. 4.

■ A man attempted to cash a fraudulent check at Wells Fargo Bank at 735 Santa Cruz Ave. When he was unsuccessful, he left the bank. Feb. 4.

Dave Boyce


Like this comment
Posted by Bumblebee
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Feb 27, 2014 at 4:31 pm

To sum it all up:

Rich people are not the brightest people. See ya next week, folks!

Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm

I also thought everyone was smart around here -- this is the craziest list of crimes in a long time.

-- Don't leave stuff in your cars/shopping carts unless you attach a sign that says "Take me." Who leaves a $6000 purse in a shopping cart? Were you on the phone?
-- Don't send money to strangers.
-- Lock your cars. All you have to do is press the Lock button
-- Lock your bike. AND...for god's sake, lock your house -- even when you're home, esp. when you're not.


Like this comment
Posted by concerned
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 28, 2014 at 9:47 pm

While I wholeheartedly agree that people should lock their cars and homes when unattended and be alert in their surroundings - poking fun at those who have not does not change the fact that crime is way up over the past few years and cars and homes are regularly being broken into in MP and Atherton. I wish the MPPD would pay more attention to these property crimes - the department's attention appears focused elsewhere, on dubious arrests, when you read the daily police blotter on a regular basis.

Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Criminals are good at seeing opportunities -- and people who leave their houses an cars unlocked with unattended valuables in plain sight are feeding the criminals.

Still can't get over that $6000 purse unattained at the market.

Like this comment
Posted by concerned
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 28, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Yes - while a 6K purse does seem a tad expensive and fodder for a good laugh and headline - the more serious issues are: 2 forced entries into homes and multiple vehicle windows smashed (where items stolen were not in plain view but hidden away in compartments). Unlocked houses maybe don't endear much sympathy, but the same criminals are likely hitting up the locked and unlocked residences.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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