Rash of suspicious incidents in Atherton

Police offer safety tips

Several suspicious incidents have recently been reported in Atherton, police say, and they urge residents to take precautions to avoid burglaries.

Two different residents reported seeing what seemed to be the same man on their properties on Saturday, Jan. 17, police said. They described him as slender and Hispanic, about 25 to 31 years of age, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, and weighing 140 to 155 pounds.

The first incident was on Sutherland Drive, where police said the man walked around and looked in windows.

Soon after, a man reportedly entered and walked around a property on Mesa Court, police said. Homeowners said they thought the man was hiding in the pool house, but he was not found, police said.

Atherton police said they had also investigated a report of an unlocked door and windows in a Maple Avenue home, reported on Jan. 15 but believed to have happened between Dec. 27 and Jan. 3. Police say the house did not appear to be disturbed.

On Jan. 12, a resident of Laburnum Drive said her purse was stolen from her vehicle near Alpine Road and I-280. Police said that when the woman returned home her spare key, which had been in her purse, was in the front door deadbolt lock. However, police found no signs of entry into the home and nothing was missing, they said.

Police offer the following safety tips:

● Lock all doors and windows, including those in garages, pool houses and other auxiliary structures. Lock vehicles, even in driveways or behind gates. Leave nothing visible in a vehicle, except the seats and floor mats.

● Leave some exterior lights on all night and consider motion-activated lights. Leave some inside lights on or put on timers when away from home. Leave your alarm on at all times.

● Plant "unfriendly" plants and shrubbery -- those with prickly leaves or thorns -- around a home to make it harder to enter. Dogs may also discourage burglars.

● Exterior camera systems can allow residents to remotely check on their homes, can prevent burglaries if visible and can help police identify thieves.

● Exchange information with neighbors and let them know if you will be gone. Inform the Atherton police if you are going on vacation and ask for property checks.

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1 person likes this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 19, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Ulex is a great anti-personnel plant Web Link

1 person likes this
Posted by Alec
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jan 19, 2015 at 6:16 pm

Ulex--Golden Gorse-is an attractive plant with thorns would indeed deter a criminal. I left Scotland, where it is quite common, so many years ago that I had quite forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder, 'Whatever.' Now I need to research how to grow it successfully in our climate.

1 person likes this
Posted by June Curran
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 19, 2015 at 6:38 pm

I concur that cameras are a wonderful and vital way to approach the problem of prowlers and burglars. My housekeeper spotted a young man prowling around my home and together she and I watched him on the computer screen at my desk. We used the loudspeaker and microphone to shout at him to get out of my garden. He ran like a scared rabbit. This took place on a regular weekday morning. My property is walled and gated, but a vigorous youngster can hoist himself over a high wall with little problem, unfortunately. I also like the idea of the floodlights that are activated by movement, a valuable option for night times.

1 person likes this
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 20, 2015 at 12:24 pm

Last Saturday I spotted a black Toyota with 2 men parked in front of my house...taking photos. Drove next door. Stopped again. They're no real estate agents...casing the neighborhood looking for a burglary opportunity.
C'mon back can take a picture of me and Mr. Colt.

1 person likes this
Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 20, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Here's a solution. Get rid of all your stuff you think is valuable, move to a less wealthy neighborhood, and get to know your community. This might be the solution to living in fear and then considering shooting people.

1 person likes this
Posted by Robert
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jan 20, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Robert is a registered user.

@really.... you remind me oif the protest against 1%... Keep in mind anyone who makes more that $50k a year as a family is in the 1% worldwide. So yes, I assume if you live in the bay area 0- the total household income is greater than $50k (total)
@Memberone - so did you call the cops - if not, shame on you as you just told them your neighbors are not as vigilant.
@June - I hope you sent that to the cops....
Folks, I am not all about the cops, but if you do not let them know and show them the evidence, guess what....

1 person likes this
Posted by Robert Crumb
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jan 20, 2015 at 2:31 pm

All you have to do is leave out a plate of brownies, using a recipe from a former mayor, and when you wake up in the morning the burglar(s) will be sound asleep on the kitchen floor. Of course you may have to restock your refrigerator and pantry. But that is a small price to pay to protect your precious art work and jewelry.

Like this comment
Posted by Memories
a resident of another community
on Jan 20, 2015 at 2:33 pm

I hope that June gave her trusty housekeeper a bonus!

Do none of these people have dogs?

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

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