Last Thursday morning Palo Alto residents greeted the day with the news that a man had broken into a home overnight and attacked the woman inside. The woman screamed and fought off the man who intended to rape her.
Over the weekend two women were attacked and beaten in robbery attempts. The beatings were so vicious that both women were taken to the hospital for treatment.
On Monday, a gunman robbed a pharmacist to get oxycontin.
Despite lightning-fast response times by police, no arrests have been made.
Residents are feeling vulnerable and they want police to do something. Patch reader Laura R wrote, "I still think, as I commented in a previous Patch article, that Palo Alto needs a more visible police presence. It has been shocking to me to see the rise in crime in PaloAlto in recent months."
Reader Phil Bordeaux added, "As undriveable as the downtown area is it's appalling that there aren't any foot patrols."
Palo Alto Police Lt. Zach Perron, Manager of the Investigative Services Division, has a quick and in-depth answer when asked what police are doing to halt the crime wave, “We are doing quite a bit to address our recent crimes….
- Since these recent early-morning attacks, we are staffing two additional officers overnight on overtime specifically to patrol the downtown area. These officers supplement our normal patrol staffing.
- We also have two other officers on overtime between now and the end of this month who are specifically assigned to work high-visibility patrol downtown and at the Stanford Shopping Center during the late afternoon and evening hours. The holiday shopping season brings more people downtown and to the Stanford Shopping Center, and unfortunately, that gives more opportunities for criminals to commit crimes (auto burglaries, shoplifts, robberies, identity thefts, etc.).
- We recently formed a burglary task force to address the ongoing residential burglary trend. The team is composed of four officers who have been reassigned from other assignments, and their primary job is to work with our detectives to proactively suppress residential burglaries and conduct follow-up investigation on burglary leads. The burglary task force is slated to go through the end of January 2013, at which point we will re-evaluate continuing it depending on need.
- Our detectives are actively working on all of the recent major investigations (the break-in/attempted sexual assault on Hawthorne, the two attempted street robberies within 15 minutes of one another when the female victims were both punched in the face, and the Walgreens oxycontin robbery where the suspect showed a gun to the victim.
- We continue to ask for the public’s help…in reporting suspicious behavior immediately to 9-1-1. We have the best chance to prevent and solve crimes by working as a team with the community, and using them as our eyes and ears whenever possible.”
If you have information about any crimes, contact the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.
Do you think that the measures taken by the police department will stop violent crime? Are you willing, as a taxpayer, to pay officers overtime to prevent crime? Tell us in comments.
Also on Palo Alto Patch
Gunman Robs Downtown Walgreens
Woman Beaten by Purse Snatcher Thug
Dozens of Registered Sex Offenders in Palo Alto
Police Praise Brave Woman Who Fought Attacker
Woman Attacked in Her Own Home
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