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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Thieves rob jewelry dealers in Los Altos: Heist not the peninsula's first

 

Last week’s jewelry theft in downtown Los Altos may be connected to similar crimes in other California cities over the past 16 months, but police continue to investigate before drawing any conclusions.

The Nov. 29 robbery of two jewelry distributors outside Garvani Diamond Brokers on First Street resembles recent crimes in Burlingame, South San Francisco and the Los Angeles area. Los Altos Police Capt. Andy Galea said his department is collaborating with agencies in those areas to determine if the incidents are linked.

Like the other robberies, last week’s heist “was sophisticated and well orchestrated,” Los Altos Police Chief Tuck Younis said. “Obviously, these victims were specific targets.”

Two New York-based distributors were robbed moments after leaving Garvani – located at 300 First St., near Draeger’s Market – at approximately 6 p.m.

Four unknown suspects allegedly wearing ski masks and dark clothing pulled up in a sedan alongside the victims, who were in their car on First Street. One suspect seized an undisclosed amount of jewelry from the backseat, according to Galea.

No weapons were reportedly used or seen, but one of the distributors was struck on the shoulder, Galea said. The victim did not need medical attention.

A similar crime occurred in January outside the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Burlingame, where six men robbed a private jewelry dealer at gunpoint. The suspects were later arrested in Los Angeles and remain in custody, according to police.

Capt. Mike Matteucci of the Burlingame Police Department said that if there is a connection between those six suspects and the four in the Los Altos robbery, it would indicate that they are part of a larger, organized ring.

Scott Bunch of the Los Altos police said Monday the department has no leads but continues to assess witness statements and vet security camera footage from surrounding businesses. Police are withholding witness statements to avoid influencing other accounts.

David Harris, Garvani co-owner, said he called police after the two victims told him what had occurred. Harris said the victims, who had just conducted business with Garvani, chased the suspects on foot as they drove away.

Galea said this type of robbery isn’t uncommon.

“Typically, (the jewelry dealers) will have been either surveilled or (the robbers) will know when they’re scheduled to make a delivery,” he said.

“From what I’ve seen in the past, and talking to other dealers, these (robbers) are very patient,” Harris said. “They follow the (dealer), see when he’s going to be in town, watch the buildings.”

Police urge anyone with information to call 947-2770. Callers may remain anonymous.

Contact Elliott Burr at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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