Police calls: Portola Valley pastor poser prompts probe


This information is based on reports from the Menlo Park Police and Atherton police departments and the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. Under the law, people charged with offenses are considered innocent unless convicted. Police received the reports on the dates shown.


Fraud: Someone posing as the pastor of a church in the 900 block of Portola Road asked the church's secretary, by email, to transfer "a large sum of money" to a bank in Texas. The secretary checked with the pastor and discovered the attempt at fraud. No losses. Oct. 17.

Residential burglary: Someone smashed a bedroom window in a home on Golden Oak Drive and stole a computer, an expired passport and a ceramic box containing seven silver rings. Oct. 18.



Theft: During an investigation of an occupied vehicle parked on Cinnabar Road and Crest Road, a deputy discovered a laptop computer, cameras and jewelry that matched items stolen from a burglarized home in Belmont. The deputy arrested and booked the driver.

Hoarding: The owner of a home on Godetia Drive asked the Sheriff's Office for help in dealing with a tenant who owned "prodigious personal property," also referred to as "hoarding." The owner has asked the tenant to leave and has been refusing to accept rent payments. Oct. 12.



Residential burglaries:

• A burglar forced open a side door of a home on McKendry Drive and stole jewelry and paperwork. Estimated loss: $4,750. Nov. 11.

• A burglar forced open a side door to a garage on Falk Court, then entered the house through an unlocked door and stole a laptop and a desktop computer. Estimated loss: $2,500. Nov. 7.

• Three bicycles were stolen from carports, two on Arbor Road and one on Oak Grove Avenue. Estimated losses: $2,500, $450 and $350. Nov. 7.


• A man told police that he's been unable to retrieve household items, clothing and electronic equipment from a space he rented in a home on Windermere Avenue. The owner of the property won't let the owner of the stored items on the property, police said. Estimated loss: $27,000. Nov. 9.

• Someone stole a complete sound system from the gym at the German American school on Pope Street. There were no signs of forced entry. Estimated loss: $2,000. Nov. 8.

• A thief stole a bicycle locked and parked in front of the Le Boulanger bakery on Santa Cruz Avenue. Estimated loss: $400. Nov. 7.

• Someone stole a compressor and a license plate from a truck parked on Haven Avenue. Estimated loss: $290. Nov. 5.

• A woman stepped away from her shopping cart while shopping at Safeway supermarket on El Camino Real and someone stole her wallet from the cart. In the wallet were debit and credit cards, a driver's license and $200 in cash. Estimated loss: $265. Nov. 5.

• A woman inadvertently dropped her wallet on Chestnut Street and, when she went back to look for it, found her credit cards and ID in a plastic bag. The wallet and its other contents -- including cash and gift cards -- was gone. Estimated loss: $110. Nov. 7.

• Someone stole a Hillary Clinton for president yard sign from the front lawn of a home on Rosefield Way. Nov. 4.

• The wheels locked on a shopping cart at Safeway supermarket on El Camino Real when someone tried to leave the store with four cases of beer and two bottles of whiskey that had not been paid for. The would-be thief fled and the beverages were recovered. Nov. 6.

Hit-and-run with injury: A cyclist collided wit the right side of a Kia Optima when the driver turned in front of the cyclist. The driver fled. The cyclist came away from the accident with non-life-threatening injuries and did not need medical attention. Nov. 5.

Vandalism: Someone stole a mailbox on Cambridge Avenue, forced it open, and then discarded it along the road. Nov. 6.



Auto burglaries:

• Someone broke the rear passenger side window of a vehicle parked in the Dish parking lot at Alpine Road and Piers Lane and stole a purse containing a cellphone, checkbook, wallet, cash and other items. No estimate on losses. Oct. 13.

• After smashing a window on a vehicle parked in the Dish parking lot, someone stole a purse, a smart phone and cosmetics. Estimated loss: $797. Oct. 30.

Fraud: A woman living on American Way relayed the serial numbers for Apple gift cards worth $6,000 in the mistaken belief that she was helping post bond for her grandson to get out of jail. The woman discovered she'd been scammed after contacting her daughter and learning that her grandson was not "in any type of trouble." Oct. 26.

Shoplifting: A man entered the convenience store at the Chevron gas station at 3600 Alameda De Las Pulgas and left the store with milk, an energy drink and juice, all unpaid for. Estimated loss: $12. Oct. 19.



Commercial burglary: A surveillance camera at a locked business on Ansel Lane caught someone thought to be an ex-employee stealing a laptop computer. A television set is also missing. Whoever entered the building might have done so using a key code that had not been changed recently. Estimated loss: $1,500. Oct. 13.



Theft: Someone stole a package from the front porch of a home on Walnut Avenue. Inside were "The Rescue Princesses" books, and Shopkin figures. Estimated loss: $17. Nov. 9.


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