Five Atherton homes hit by daytime burglars


A home was burglarized today, Feb. 4, the latest in a string of bold daytime burglaries in Atherton over the past week.

The thieves appear to be targeting "older, understated' homes and looking for jewelry and silver, Atherton police said.

One of the residential burglaries was interrupted by the homeowner, who spotted a person with long hair running away from the house and jumping over the fence, said Chief Mike Guerra. The other four resulted in thefts, he said. There's no estimate yet on the value of the stolen items, he said.

The string of burglaries began between Jan. 28 and have occurred all over town, Chief Guerra said.

Police sent out an automated phone message to residents, encouraging them to be vigilant and report any suspicious people or activity to the police department at 688-6500.

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Like this comment
Posted by A Citizen
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 4, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Just what APD needs, more bad press !

Like this comment
Posted by Punished
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 4, 2010 at 7:52 pm

I hope we are not being taught a lesson

Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Feb 5, 2010 at 5:56 am

This could be another form of Elder Abuse by the Atherton Police Department.

Scare the residents and distract from the Jon Buckheit matter which must be resolved by today.

When was the last time the PD used the automated phone system to warn the residents.

Also your Police Department has made a subtle change to the Daily Activity Log.

Daily Media Log for 2/3/10
Posted in Uncategorized by Atherton Police Department on February 4, 2010

Posted in Uncategorized by Atherton Police Department on February 3, 2010

Its now a Media Log.

Like this comment
Posted by suspicious
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 5, 2010 at 7:52 am

The timing of this press release from the Atherton Police Department is suspect.

It comes at a time when the Police Department is under fire for the misconduct of its officers.

This is nothing more than psychological warfare on the part of the APD, scare the hell out of \'em so they\'ll rally to the PD\'s defense.

By giving this so called news such prominence, while supressing evidence of criminal conduct on the part of the Atherton Police Department is the clearest indication yet that the Almanac News is in bed with the Atherton PD.

Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Feb 5, 2010 at 9:18 am

So what's with the police haters? Would you rather not know about recent crime activity going on in our neighborhood? You must be the same [portion deleted] who sit behind their keyboards and complain about stuff just to get your jollies feeling important. Get a life!

Like this comment
Posted by A Concerned Resident
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Feb 5, 2010 at 9:37 am

I don't know if the Atherton Police are trying to scare the residents unnecessarily, but if there were 5 burglaries last week, I appreciate being notified about them using the city's automated message system. We have received approx. four such messages in the past year or so. One to notify about a rash of burglaries, one for a bobcat sighting in our area and two for an alert regarding the testing of an emergency siren. All messages were appreciated. In addition, yesterday a young man came down our long driveway onto our property and asked a worker who was getting out of his car for money (we called the police). Maybe we should trust our police department when they issue such alerts.... we do.

Like this comment
Posted by Awareness
a resident of another community
on Feb 5, 2010 at 12:00 pm

That call you made to the police about the hungry man at the end of your "long driveway" makes me think you must have had some life changing trauma to cause you to call and spend money to get the police in their cars and come to question this "intruder".
You are no Jessica Fletcher. Those "alerts" make you feel comfortable while you do whatever it is you do around your house.
It might be a good idea if you are older, or infirm, to get yourself into a security building and hold down others' tax costs for a police report. A sandwich and a glass of milk sounds far more "American" to have given this person who made his identity clear when he spoke to one of your "workers".......You are a cliche.

Like this comment
Posted by Mary Gilles
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I rarely read the blogs for the reason that they are so nasty. I cannot believe what people will write anonymously. The open hostility the anonymity fosters is, in my opinion, tearing away the rules of social decency. If you wouldn't stand in front of a person face to face and say what you write, then don't write it.

Like this comment
Posted by Sam Tseng
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 5, 2010 at 12:38 pm

The burglars could be the failure adult children of local residents targeting known long time neighbors. Since the police stop any car that is over 5 years old trying to enter the city, the burglars could be living within. Just ask any hired help who gets stopped on their way to work. Perhaps this is simply involuntary give back to the community.

Like this comment
Posted by R.GORDON
a resident of another community
on Feb 5, 2010 at 1:33 pm

R.GORDON is a registered user.

To Mary G.
In case you haven't noticed, it IS a nasty world out there.
To write one's own name usually results in small "militia" groups going off on tangents and ignoring the message.
'Social decency' is practically an anachronism in these times where so many people are unaware of the circumstances of others because they do not read enough.

Like this comment
Posted by Tricia 59
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 5, 2010 at 1:55 pm

As a long time 45 year resident of Atherton, and not a follower of this "Police Dept crisis" info at all, but just happened on this article and then read the horrible comments, I too am appalled at the rudeness of some of the commentators and the snarkiness they exhibit while remaining anonymous. I have had faith in our fine police department ever since Chief Hubbard back in the 60's, never having experienced anything negative personally. People are quick to complain, but these men and women put their lives at risk for us on a daily basis each time they stop a vehicle or respond to an alarm. I could never do that. They also respond within a couple of minutes, rather than wait 20 minutes for the San Mateo Sheriff as our neighbors do residing in the "county". They have been nothing but polite, kind, and helpful even though I received a "no seat belt" ticket on the corner of Selby Lane last year, he was very nice about it. As to a person in someone's driveway in Atherton asking for money, it would certainly put me off also. I give much to the less fortunate as I am sure most folks do, but am always suspicious of a person, out of the blue, in a residential neighborhood where one normally needs a car, being bold enough to ask for money. Twice in my life I have asked folks who have the signs" Will Work For Food" to work for me in my garden, and they refuse. I get the impression these folks really don't want any work at all, just the money. As the other resident said, we have had 4 calls the past year, and I also APPRECIATE the calls.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident Rescue Team
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 5, 2010 at 3:35 pm

There is no reason to need to choose between being for or against our Police Dept. no matter how long you have been here and loved it. I miss Chief Leroy as well
If you really care about those officers be prepared to face any failures with them and help theme get back on tract. These problems (and they are very real) have come out the culture getting off track due to ineffective leadership, no oversight, and all of us residents assuming too much blind trust.
They need our love now-but Tough Love only.
Our going into denial or misplaced loyalty at this moment is only going to hurt the whole department even more than it has been and this time it would be irrevocable--
Open you eyes and mind -and pay very close attention as events unfold

Like this comment
Posted by Frustrated Resident
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 5, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I do think our Atherton Police Department needs great revamping and strengthening. I have had several incidents that have been very disturbing. A break in with a 27 minute response after my alarm sounded. No investigation. I had to discover myself where they broke in and took down a section of my fence. On other occasions, when my alarm went off and they did come, they said they couldn't come in because the gate was "nailed shut". They did have the key to the gate. Even after clarifying this with the police department, they still did not come in at later times because they said they had no key. I can cite several other incidents. We appreciate the kindness and nice personalities of the police. However, we do need active, vigilant and qualified investigative and response officers. Work definitely needs to be done to improve the security of Atherton residents and, also, finding and arresting the robbers, etc.
Has our police department ever been able to solve any of our crimes of break ins, etc.?..

Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Feb 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Sorry to hear about the lack of timely service. Although only hearing one side of story, I am in support of those who are asking for improvements as they seem warranted in the above cases.

About the Atherton PD solving crimes...about 10 years ago someone broke a window and made off with some small jewelry items of my wife's and a few tools. Over the course of a month or so, due to an Atherton officer befriending a juvenile seen in and around town on his bike and walking, the case was solved. The officer was able to get that juvenile to give him some info about the crime - supposedly done by someone else. In the end, the individual incriminated himself and showed the officer one of the stolen items (my leatherman plier/knife tool). Case closed. did not get much of the jewelry back, but it was not big $$$. Small potatoes, but they do do some police work.

Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 5, 2010 at 7:56 pm

I can think of two incidents from the last year or so, both of which went through county court, and both of involved APD officers as the SUSPECTS in the case.
There were a few where the officers were plaintiffs--which they lost...
One wasa residents stolen golf clubs/officer Clark Yee
The other was officer Metzker/PD dffice property
So who knows if this is a PR stunt to avoid pending scrutiny as happened 3 years ago, more bandit officers, or something real this time.
No one should be having to wonder about this stuff--Clean House so that we can build back trust
Clearly the is SOMETHING wrong that needs to get addressed

Like this comment
Posted by Says it all
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Feb 5, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Ed's post really says it all. In the past two years I've seen ONE case In the papers involving the Atherton PD arresting a guy who was prosecuted (Bothun) but THREE in which the cops were either the suspects:defendants (Yee and Metzger) or gettin yelled at by a judge (Dennis, Kockler and DeVlugt).

There's something wrong with this picture, especially in a twelve officer department.

I understand and appreciate that most Atherton residents have not been exposed to this, and have only had routine (and thus inconsequential/amiable) interactions with the Atherton police. That's really Irrelevant if you think about it.

Like this comment
Posted by Bewildered
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 2, 2010 at 12:27 am

I called the Atherton police department to to report a strange, female individual walking in Lindenwood right after the house on James got burglarized. To the departments defense, they did call me back. They had to leave a message, and then I actually tried them again (at the officer's request who was in receipt of my voice mail). They didn't return my calls ever again. About two weeks later they caught the illusive burglar. The perp was a female. I wish I could find a picture somewhere online to see if she matches who I would have described had they called me back a second time. Who knows what Atherton residents would still be in possession of right now had they just taken my inquiry seriously? Just sayin.

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

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