A restaurant burglarized, street signs discovered in the back of a van, a skittish mountain lion, and a man in military garb out in public with a rifle and camera. Sheriff's deputies have had an interesting time of it recently in and around Woodside and Portola Valley, according to a recent report from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.
Someone stole a generator, two restaurant racks, two leaf blowers, a serving platter and a professional juke box, the total valued at $2,000, from a storage area and a unlocked shed behind Alice's Restaurant in Woodside at the corner of Highway 84 and Skyline Boulevard. The thefts are believed to have occurred on four dates between May 1 and June 13, and were reported to deputies on the morning of June 26, the report said.
Deputies have recovered the generator, the leaf blowers and a couple of other items not initially reported, Lt. Larry Schumaker of the Sheriff's Office told the Almanac.
Early on June 27, at 1:52 a.m., a deputy in a patrol car checked out a minivan reported as "suspicious" in the 3000 block of the Alameda de las Pulgas in West Menlo Park. While talking with the van's occupants, the deputy happened to look inside and noticed a "one way" sign, a "do not enter" sign, a "no parking" sign and a yellow speed warning sign.
The occupants did not know who was "the rightful owner of the signs," so the deputy "collected them for safekeeping," the report said. The deputy has photographed the signs and sent the photos to the public works department in Redwood City along with an inquiry asking if the city has had any signs stolen.
A hiker in Huddart Park in Woodside on June 26 encountered what he said was a mountain lion on the Chickadee Trail, a mile-long hiking trail that runs parallel to the park entrance driveway just off Kings Mountain Road. The hiker told deputies that "the lion got scared and ran away" and "was not aggressive in any way," the report said.
The hiker described the animal as light brown, about 125 pounds, and with "a long bushy tail with a black tip," the report said.
The Sheriff's Office report includes mention of a Palo Alto resident described as "a self professed 'open-carry' practitioner" who protests in "full tactical attire," who informs the authorities when and where he plans to conduct a "peaceful protest."
The Almanac reported in February on a person fitting this description as he protested in the 2800 block of Sand Hill Road at an entrance to an office complex near the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel in Menlo Park. Go to this link for more.
"To date, he has not committed any crime for which law enforcement can make an arrest or obtain a restraining order," the report said. "California open carry laws permit the open display of firearms and ammunition upon a person as long as the weapon is not loaded and the ammunition is unattached. The subject has the proper licenses to possess these weapons."