News - December 25, 2013

Woodside: Man seeks emergency assistance, and winds up in jail

by Dave Boyce

A man who sought emergency assistance for a stranded truck on a Woodside road in the early morning hours of Friday, Dec. 13, ended up in jail later that day when deputies found stolen goods in his truck.

Donald Elliot, 30, of San Jose was booked into San Mateo County jail shortly after noon on Dec. 13 in connection with an early morning burglary that day at a Tripp Court residence in Woodside. He bailed out of jail on Dec. 16, said Deputy Rebecca Rosenblatt.

Authorities became involved when a man knocked on the door of a Tripp Road residence about 5 a.m. on Dec. 13, saying his truck had stalled about half a mile away in the 3600 block of Partition Road. The man said his fiancee was waiting in the truck and they needed roadside assistance. The Tripp Road resident called 911 on the man's behalf.

Firefighters and medics from the Woodside Fire Protection District arrived and took the couple to Sequoia Hospital for a weather-related condition. The man and the woman were released from the hospital and took a taxi back to their truck.

Meanwhile, deputies had arrived and were arranging to have the truck towed since it was partially blocking the road. The truck was up against a thin tree trunk that prevented the vehicle from rolling off the road and down a steep hill, deputies said.

Before towing a vehicle, deputies are obligated to make an inventory of its contents in case something should go missing from the vehicle. As they were doing this, the list of contents appeared to match a list of items missing from a burglary reported that morning.

The reported missing items included wheels, two Olympic Games souvenir pins, and a black leather case containing the owner's manual to a Land Rover, its vehicle registration, and its evidence of insurance, the Sheriff's Office said.

The Tripp Court resident reporting the burglary told deputies that he had discovered the gate to his property "wide open" that morning after having been shut at 10 p.m. on the previous night, and evidence that someone had rummaged through his two unlocked vehicles. The missing items had an estimated value of about $1,000.

When Mr. Elliot and his fiancee arrived by cab around noon at the scene of the stalled truck, deputies made the arrests. The woman was questioned and released.


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