Mountain View Voice

News - March 2, 2012

Crime briefs

Taqueria burglary

Around $3,500 to $4,000 was stolen from Taqueria La Bamba in a burglary in the early hours of Feb. 28, police said.

Police believe the burglary took place between 12:30 a.m. and 2:13 a.m., Wylie said. Cash was stolen from inside a small safe and some cash register drawers, which the burglar (or burglars) left behind; two other safes were taken from the scene — one of them contained cash, while the other had only paperwork inside.

Wylie said the burglary may have begun at about 12:30 a.m., when the owner of the restaurant received a call from his alarm company reporting that an alarm had gone off. The owner drove to the restaurant to check it out — shining his headlights in through the front windows and then driving around back. However, he did not notice anything suspicious, so he left without calling the police.

When the alarm company notified the owner of a second alarm, triggered at 2:13 a.m., the man decided to call the Mountain View police, Wylie said. When officers arrived at the restaurant they found the back door wide open and a rear window pried open.

"Although we don't know for sure, it is possible the first alarm activation was from breaking in through the window," Wylie said in an email. "The suspects may have been inside when the owner drove past the front and back. It is possible the second activation was from when the suspects left through the back door, which we found open when we got there."

Wylie said that restaurant owners often instruct their alarm company not to immediately call the police when an alarm is triggered for fear of being charged a fee for filing a false report.

"This is never a good idea, and this is an excellent case in point," Wylie wrote. "We advise all companies to make certain their alarm companies notify us when there is an alarm activation."

Armed robbery

Two men robbed a Mountain View jewelry store at gunpoint in the morning, Feb. 28, police said.

The robbers walked into Carmen's Joyeria, located at 593 Esquela Ave. at about 10:40 a.m., according to Liz Wylie, public information officer with the Mountain View Police Department.

One of the men had a gun and pointed it at the owner of the store, while his accomplice took jewelry from a glass display, Wylie said.

The value of the jewelry is unknown at this point, Wylie said.

The robbers were described as Hispanic men. One was in his early 20s; the other (with the gun) was about 30. They were wearing all dark clothing.

Police are actively investigating the case, Wylie said.

Teens thwart burglars

A teenage girl and her younger brother may have inadvertently thwarted a burglary simply by being home when their apartment was broken into, police said.

The 17-year-old and her brother were in a back room of the apartment in a complex located in the 800 block of North Rengstorff Avenue when they heard a loud crash at about 2:15 p.m. on Feb. 23, Mountain View police spokeswoman Liz Wylie said in an email to the Voice.

Thinking it was a neighbor making noise, they ignored the sound and continued listening to music, Wylie wrote. The mother of the children returned to the apartment about five minutes later and discovered that the back patio door had been "kicked or forced open."

The frame to the door was damaged and the lock was broke, Wylie wrote. "Nothing appeared to be touched or moved inside the home and nothing was stolen. We believe the suspect(s) may have quickly realized people were home and fled without taking anything."

MV shooting victim

A 35-year-old man was shot Feb. 15 in East Palo Alto is a Mountain View resident, police said.

Around 6:50 p.m. the man was shot in the 2300 block of Cooley Avenue. The shooter appeared to have fled in a silver Toyota RAV4 after the attack, according to police.

Officers arrived at the scene after a Shotspotter activation system alerted authorities about the shooting, police said. Officers found evidence of a shooting, but no victim. Officers then learned that the victim had arrived at Stanford Hospital with a gunshot wound not considered life-threatening, according to police.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call East Palo Alto police dispatch at 650-321-1112. An anonymous text can be sent to 650-409-6792. Tipsters can also anonymously call 650-409-6792 or send an anonymous e-mail to epa@tipnow.org.

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