Los Altos Police nab alleged burglar, identity thief

NEWS arrests mugsThe Los Altos Police Department received a call from a local resident reporting a suspicious vehicle in the area of Lockhaven and Stonehaven drives in Los Altos at 9 a.m. Monday. The resident, who reported that his mail was possibly stolen, provided a detailed description of the vehicle.


UPDATED: Missing Los Altos High School student found

UPDATED at 10:20 p.m. Jan. 21: Mountain View Police report that Avendano is safe after being located in Los Angeles County.


The Mountain View Police Department is looking for 17 year-old Mountain View resident Lizbeth Avendano. According to the police, the teenager has not been seen or heard from since approximately 8:50 a.m. this morning when her mother dropped her off at Los Altos High School.


UPDATED: LAH burglary thwarted; one arrested, another apprehended after fleeing

UPDATED at 2:50 p.m. Jan. 21: Los Altos Police apprehended the second suspect Tuesday morning. For more details, see the Jan. 28 edition of the Town Crier.


A Los Altos Hills resident’s instinct to call the sheriff’s office when two suspicious people knocked on his door may have thwarted a burglary.

The Loyola Drive resident’s report to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Monday night (Jan. 19) led to the arrest of one of the men for auto theft and outstanding warrants; the other suspect escaped.

“There is no doubt in our mind that these guys were out here to commit a burglary,” said Captain Rick Sung, Commander Chief of the West Valley Division.

The resident contacted the sheriff’s Office at approximately 8 p.m. Monday after the two men asked him for gas, according to Sung. Deputies arrived minutes later, located the suspects – described as Hispanic males – and soon discovered they both had multiple warrants for their arrests.

One suspect fled the scene and escaped capture, despite the search perimeter set up by deputies, who dispatched K-9 officers and received air assistance from a San Jose Police Department helicopter.

The second suspect was arrested on warrants for vehicle theft, drug possession and driving without a license. His bail was set at $47,000.

According to Sung, the arrested suspect said that he and his associate were in the area “looking for a party.” Their vehicle – reported as stolen – was found parked along Interstate 280. Sung said that marijuana and methamphetamine pipes were found inside.

Sung said the sheriff’s office and neighboring agencies are on the lookout for the other suspect. In addition to facing warrants for possession of methamphetamine and being under the influence of controlled substances (totaling $110,00 in bail), Sung said the suspect now faces additional charges for fleeing the scene and stealing a vehicle.

Although burglaries in Los Altos Hills dipped in October through December, Sung encouraged residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity – just like the Loyola Drive resident did.

“Don’t wait five minutes or 10 minutes,” he said. “Our deputies will be there in minutes.”

Storm Updates: News throughout the day

Photos by Ellie Van Houtte
Water is rushing across Foothill Expressway – but no cars – at Loyola Corners in Los Altos. Flooding has closed the road for a half-mile stretch.

UPDATE: The storm has eased in the Bay Area but we'll continue to add updates as they come.

Read on below for coverage from Thursday, Dec 11:

Town Crier staff are following the storm from around town and publishing updates here and on Twitter, where we're also collecting bulletins from local police departments and utilities providers. Find us @latc for rolling updates in real time.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday power service has remained consistent in the Los Altos area – follow outages via PG&E's map here:

Mountain View police are updating a map of flooded areas (below). Los Altos roads remain open but Central Expressway has a major closure between Matilda and Wolf as of 5 p.m. Thursday.


Police ask for vigilance following armed robbery at residence

badgeLos Altos Police are asking residents to be vigilant in securing their homes after burglars held a homeowner at gunpoint during a break-in early this morning (Dec. 9).


LAHS 20-year reunion set for Nov. 29

Los Altos High School Class of 1994 tickets are on sale for the 20-year reunion, scheduled 7 p.m. next Saturday (Nov. 29) at First and Main Bar & Grill in downtown Los Altos. Tickets are $60 each and are sold on
For more information, visit the reunion Facebook page:

LASD race: Counting absentee ballots takes time

The fate of a number local races hangs in the balance as the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters continues to tabulate absentee ballots returned to polling places on Election Day.

Who will serve on the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees and whether the district's Measure N bond passes are yet to be determined.  

County Registrar Shannon Bushey said the office is currently processing and counting an estimated 150,000 absentee ballots returned through Nov. 4. The results the office published 4 a.m. Nov. 5 included the 81,000 votes cast at polling places on Election Day.

At 5 p.m. Nov. 5, the registrar released results for 16,000 absentee ballots, but the county still has another 105,000-135,000 absentee ballots to process.

Counting absentee ballots, which arrive in sealed envelopes, is a labor-intensive process. Bushey said the ballots first must be sorted by precinct and go through a sorting machine that tallies them and captures voters’ signatures. The registrar’s office staff must compare the signatures to ensure that they match for approval, and then the staff open the envelopes and prep the ballots for processing the vote counts.

Bushey said the first day of counting absentee ballots includes more preparation and sorting, prompting the low-results count of only 16,000 ballots processed. She estimates that the office will complete counting absentee ballots by Saturday but will work Sunday if necessary.

The Registrar of Voters’ website is scheduled to update totals at 5 p.m. each day.

After absentee ballots are counted, the Registrar of Voters must process the 14,000 provisional ballots cast on Election Day, which, according to Bushey, would take at least a week.

All election results will not be certified officially until Dec. 2.

For updates, visit and click “Election Results.”

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