Mountain View Voice

News - April 6, 2012

Crime briefs

Interrupted burglary

East Palo Alto police arrested a man and two teenage boys suspected of burglarizing a Mountain View home on March 30.

The victim of the burglary, a 38-year-old woman, returned to her home in the 1400 block of Ernestine Ln. shortly before 10 a.m., and found a thief was inside, said Mountain View police spokeswoman Liz Wylie.

The woman was returning from a brief errand when she saw a teenage boy sitting in the passenger seat of a gold Infiniti sedan parked out in front. As she turned into the driveway, she saw the boy look at her and honked the car's horn, Wylie said.

She pulled into her garage, entered the house and found a man in her living room, smashing through a double-paned sliding glass door.

The woman ran back out to the garage, and the man followed her out into the garage, got into the Infiniti and drove away.

A detective, who had been working on a March 27 burglary reported on the 1400 block of nearby Lloyd Avenue, recognized the description of the Infiniti. A tipster living on Lloyd Avenue had written down the license plate number of a gold Infiniti sedan.

At 10:47 a.m. the car was found by Palo Alto police on Cooley Avenue in East Palo Alto, Wylie said. A man and two teens were standing with the car. Police found items that had been taken from the Ernestine Lane home — two pairs of earrings and a Garmin GPS unit. The man had glass shards in his hair and fresh cuts on his hand.

Police determined that all three were involved in the break-in. The two teens — a 17-year-old from Mountain View and a 15-year-old from East Palo Alto — were cited and released to the custody of their parents, while the man, 20-year-old Luis Rodriguez of East Palo Alto, was booked into county jail.

Shoplifting scuffle

After attempting to make off with liquor and scuffling with some employees, two teenagers were arrested on charges of robbery outside Nob Hill Foods on Grant Road on March 30, police said.

Several employees at the supermarket, located at 1250 Grant Road, reportedly saw one of the two teenage boys sneak two bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey into a backpack inside a shopping cart, said Liz Wylie, public information officer for the Mountain View Police Department.

After one teen left the store, an employee confronted the boy with the backpack, Wylie said. The teen accused the employee of being racist and would not cooperate, so the employee went to get a store manager.

That's when the teen made a break for it, Wylie said. He ran out into the parking lot and shoved one of the two pursuing employees, according to the police report, and headed to a Dodge Charger where the other teen sat behind the wheel.

There was a struggle as the fleeing teen attempted to get into the Charger and the employee tried to hold him, Wylie said. The employee was hit multiple times by the teen, a few times in the groin.

The teen behind the wheel of the Dodge Charger made no attempt to flee, Wylie said. Police arrived, the two teens were arrested for robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery and taken to juvenile hall. One of the bottles of Jack Daniels, valued at $46.99, broke, the other was returned to the store.

Police said a 17-year-old from East Palo Alto allegedly stole the liquor and fought with employees, and a 16-year-old from Portola Valley was the teen behind the wheel of the would-be getaway car, Wylie said.

The teen who fought with store employees was treated on the scene for a scrape to his knee, Wylie said. The Nob Hill employee declined treatment.

Suspicious man on campus

Police are seeking the man they suspect lunged at a 9-year-old female Bubb Elementary School student Thursday morning, March 29, on the school's campus.

Extra safety precautions were triggered at all Mountain View elementary and middle schools after a "stranger on the Bubb campus approached one of our students in a suspicious manner," an official with the Mountain View Whisman School District said in an email to district parents.

The student was unharmed and the suspect's intentions are still unclear.

The 9-year-old girl was returning to class from a trip to the bathroom, said Liz Wylie, the Mountain View Police Department's public information officer. The girl saw the man leaning up against a tether ball pole. Wylie said that the man lunged at the girl when she came within 6 feet of him. The girl ran away and the man ran in the opposite direction. She last saw him heading toward the Bonita Avenue side of the campus.

"Despite an exhaustive search," Wylie wrote in the report, "the man was not found."

Police believe the man is white, in his 50s, with thinning gray hair and is heavyset, and was wearing gray jeans and a navy blue polo shirt. A sketch is online at mv-voice.com.

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