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Palo Alto burglars ditch loot in Mountain View

Original post made on Mar 23, 2012

An alert resident that witnessed a residential burglary in progress called 911 Thursday morning, enabling Palo Alto police to chase the pair of thieves and recover the stolen property from their abandoned getaway car in Mountain View.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 23, 2012, 10:31 AM

Comments (14)

Posted by Nick, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm

As usual, the Voice (Sue Dremann) leaves out pertinent details -- either due to incompetency or political correctness.

Check out a much better article from Victor Gonzalez at the SJ Mercury:
www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_20236384/palo-alto-burglary-suspects-ditch-loot-car-at

Reporter Victor Gonzalez writes:
"The suspect seen running from the side yard was a Hispanic man in his early 20s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a husky build, Perron said. He was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and jeans. No description of the driver was available."

"Reporter" Sue Dremann only writes:
"The resident saw a man in his early 20s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a husky build, run out of her neighbor's side yard carrying property. The suspect, who was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and jeans"

Spot the difference? Sue, perhaps you should consider a new line of work -- lots of opportunities in politics where selective reporting seems to be valued.


Posted by Nick, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Actually perhaps it's not Sue's fault -- looks like her article in the PA Weekly includes the race of the suspect, but the version in the Voice does not -- Sue, did the editor of the Voice cut that out?


Posted by Andrea Gemmet, Mountain View Voice Editor
on Mar 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

The Voice follows AP style when it comes to issues such as the race or ethnicity of a suspect. In cases of a very detailed description of a suspect who is being sought by police, we include ethnic or racial information if relevant. This story is a borderline case, as the suspect description of young, male and husky is not much enhanced by the addition of Hispanic -- with or without the suspect's apparent ethnicity, the description fits a broad segment of the population.


Posted by David, a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Thanks for the reply Andrea, but I disagree.
Yes there are lots of Hispanics in our community but that single additional piece of information narrows the population significantly.
Do you think the police are looking only for a "young husky male" or a "young husky Hispanic male"?
I love the Voice but am disappointed by this editorial decision.
David


Posted by Sparty, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Nice try but the "AP standard" is nonsense.

Just look at articles in the SF Chronicle/SFgate. HOURS later...HOURS...after the Mercury, KRON, KTVU, KGO, KNTV etc etc have full descriptions...the Chron will have only "5-8 male wearing a hooded sweatshirt"

But if you want to rest on a cop out like "AP style" when not giving full information to the limited audience in a small area who can directly benefit from the information... then we'll just talk that as your trademark style.


Posted by Nick, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm

First, apologies to Sue Dremann -- sounds like she wrote a fine article, but the Voice editors are making her look bad. Thankfully she's published in other papers so we can see that it's not her fault.

Andrea -- I fully disagree with your editorial decision:

1) How much more descriptive can the witness get? Male, early 20's, 5'9", husky build, dark-hooded sweatshirt and jeans? What more detail would you like in order to include race? The guy's favorite movie?

2) Race can make a big difference, particularly in certain neighborhoods, for narrowing down the above description.

3) All the other more legit papers like the SJ Mercury (in an article written by a Hispanic male reporter, no less) include race as a detail when the police provide it.

4) Everyone knows the little game you're playing, so when you omit race, do you not think that everyone makes assumptions to fill in the blanks? And just assumes that you chose not to report it because you have some personal agenda?

You're not saving the world by selective editing -- just make yourself seem like an amateur, and potentially preventing criminals from being caught.

The really misguided part is that the free flow of information is what creates a free, open, and tolerant society. Censorship and propaganda does the opposite.


Posted by Wow, a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm

This sounds a great deal like racism or profiling to me. First, you are reading about a robbery; remember robbers come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and sexes. Second, you read about the attempts to capture the robbers, unfortunately those attempts were unsuccessful for whatever reason. While the article could try to describe the robber to a tee, you the reader, are not a participant to the crime nor are you able to positively identify the criminal. With this said, I agree with the manner in which this article was written as it states the facts, a robbery occurred, attempts to apprehend were unsuccessful. By delving any deeper into the race of the offender, age, or sex only serves to build racial tensions rather than tearing down racial tensions. My guess is if the was a caucasian duo perpetrating these crimes, very few would have anything to say. Try to see beyond your own meager hatred and open your eyes to the world around you.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Have you seen the comments posted here when race IS included in the description? They are racist and mean-spirited.

I believe the editors are making a decision knowing that they are damned if they do and damned if they don't when it comes to commenters. If the editors choose to leave hispanic out of the description, the editors are villified. If they include it in the description then an entire race is villified.


Posted by Jes' Sayin', a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm

When you're trying to find a criminal, why wouldn't you include every bit of information you can?

Just imagine: perhaps a friend or relative of this person already suspects them of it, but not seeing Hispanic included in the description has dismissed it.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm

And I just realized I misspelled vilified. Go ahead crucify my comment.


Posted by Wow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Again, unless you are a participant (you saw it, you have material facts about the crime, you committed the crime, you video taped it) you are powerless to do anything here. It appears your judgement is easily clouded.


Posted by Sparty, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm

"This story is a borderline case, as the suspect description of young, male and husky is not much enhanced by the addition of Hispanic -- with or without the suspect's apparent ethnicity, the description fits a broad segment of the population."

Let's see.. 2010 census lists Santa Clara Co as 35% Hispanic.

So... with that detail--we cut out nearly 70% of the population.

In fact...in Palo Alto--how much of the population would that cut out?

I realize the editors probably cut out the race, but if any reporter is going to defend that..., perhaps they think a 65% pay cut would be just fine...or throwing out 65% of your clothes... eating 65% less... 65% exercise.... 65% less friends...


Posted by NW Resident, a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I would like to recognize the fine police work performed by the MV, PA and RWC officers, who worked together to locate the suspect vehicle and stolen property.

Also kudos to the resident who called PAPD to report a crime in progress.


Posted by Sparty, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Looked it up for you Andrea.... the broad segment of the Palo Alto population that is Hispanic is...by the latest census ... 6.2%

So now we know, to The Press, 92.8% is an statistically irrelevant number.

MV Voice should give a 92% discount to everyone they sell ads to, since, heck 92% is nothing!


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