Menlo College students arrested in thefts


Two Menlo College students were arrested this week after a security guard said he saw them stealing backpacks at neighboring Menlo School in Atherton.

Raphael Daniel Bettan and Ryan Goodman, both 18, were arrested Tuesday, Nov. 1, on suspicion of grand theft after a security guard saw them take backpacks left unattended at Menlo School, Atherton police Sgt. Sherman Hall said.

The college students were seen picking up the unattended bags and taking them to a nearby grove of trees, Sgt. Hall said.

Security officers apprehended the suspects and called police.

Two iPads and other electronic items believed to have been stolen were later found in the college students' dormitory, Sgt. Hall said.

Police are investigating whether the suspects are responsible for other thefts recently reported on campus.

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Posted by Marsha
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm

This is an example of how 99% of our society develops when they see how the 1% (Menlo School students) live. The huge gap of the Haves, and Have-Nots is what causes many of our young people to feel "cheated" out of life, and leads them to be dishonest and steal from those who they perceive as "having everything". Recently one of Menlo School's own underprivledged students was expelled for stealing a wallet. Imagine what it is like for those students at that school. This is just going to get worse if we don't make changes in our society.

Is this, as Menlo professes, "THE WAY SCHOOL IS SUPPPOSED TO BE" ? Why is it only the rich can have, as their ads say, "challenging (?), engaging (?),and joyful (?)schools?

Of course, when you can raise $45,000,000 for a building (as Menlo has), with millions of other children being taught by devoted, but exhausted, teachers in classes of 35-45, you can create a school (non-profit business??) that is perceived as the only path to The American Dream. How arrogent to say that Menlo is "The Way Schools are Supposed to BE" when it can only be done with the abundance of money flowing into Menlo School !!!!!!! This has nothing to do with talent, only money and egoic ambition.

Schools, like Menlo, perpetuate the delusion of Joy (as they say they are) as being all the material things money can buy. It is not. These students are being given perverted values that will, with luck, take many years to change.

This type of self centered environment is going to lead to more and more unrest and unhappiness for all- rich and poor. The "Take BAck" riots start and end with the Menlo Schools of the USA.

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Posted by Matthew
a resident of Laurel School
on Nov 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm


Are you kidding me? Take your wealth envy elsewhere. This story is about teenage petty theft. Thats it! Furthermore, I don't care for your suggestion that only poor kids steal.

Like this comment
Posted by R.Gordon
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2011 at 6:27 am

It is probably due to the lunches in the back packs which the thieves wanted. I would be tempted too for those blini with caviar sandwiches.
HAVE NOTS?...........THAT is not a smart thing to conclude.

Like this comment
Posted by Leana
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 5, 2011 at 8:21 am

Marsha is confused. Menlo College kids are hardly the 'have nots' as tuition there is over $35k a year, not included room and board.
Regardless, her portrayal of Menlo School and its kids as the villains is way off.

Marsha is right only in her belief that all schools should be joyful. The reason public schools aren't joyful is due to a system of corrupt teachers' unions that bankrupt the schools and don't allow for firing of bad teachers. There's nothing like a bad teacher to suck the joy out of a child's school year. Why don't you 'Take Back" the public schools: that's where the problems are and that's where your riots should begin.

Like this comment
Posted by Annabelle
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Nov 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Sounds like someone did not learn that stealing was wrong.
However if you leave your belongings unattended, it creates an opportunity for someone to steal them.
Sounds like both sides are above middle class so hardly an issue regarding 'haves' vs 'have-nots'.

Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm

A couple of weeks ago, some Almanac posters cited "wealth" and "privilege" as the cause for a group of local kids vandalizing a school in Woodside.

Now, a new crop of posters cite "envy" as the cause for poorer kids engaging in similar criminal acts.

Here's an idea - how about people taking personal responsibility for their actions without others making excuses for their bad behavior?

Like this comment
Posted by Reed
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Right on Leana and Pogo!

Like this comment
Posted by TiMO
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Nov 7, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Well put POGO

Like this comment
Posted by A Parent
a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm


Your comment that public schools aren't "joyful" was ignorant. Plenty of public schools, including the one attended by my own children, are "joyful." A school can be joyful when it has a sense of community and shared responsibility. My children's school weren't the best funded around, but they did have families who cared deeply about not only their own children, but also the rest of the children in their own community.

That is what makes a school joyful and that is what guides children into adults who feel responsible for their neighbors, not just themselves.

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

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