Last updateTue, 28 Jun 2016 5pm

Minivan takes out power, hydrant

Courtesy of Santa Clara COunty Fire Department
A Menlo Park motorist hit a fire hydrant on Eastbrook Avenue in Los Altos, resulting in a gushing hydrant and a power outage in the neighborhood.

A rush-hour traffic accident in Los Altos last week caused a neighborhood power outage and a burst fire hydrant.

The incident occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m. May 4, when a 74-year-old Menlo Park man traveling northbound on Eastbrook Avenue just south of Winding Way careened his 2012 Honda Odyssey minivan into a utility pole and then a fire hydrant, said Art Montiel, public information officer with the California Highway Patrol. The force of the impact toppled the utility pole and sent water gushing from the hydrant.

Two men arrested for auto theft

A partnership between law enforcement agencies resulted in the recovery of three stolen vehicles and the arrest of two suspects last week.

San Jose residents Cruz Cipriano Vargas and Aaron Guzman, both 20, were arrested and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail May 5 on charges of auto theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Police Blotter

Burglary, theft

May 7, 12:15 p.m., 4800 block of El Camino Real: A customer at Whole Foods Market reported that while she was shopping, her wallet went missing from her cart.

May 7, 4:36 p.m., 100 block of West Edith Avenue: An unknown suspect stole a $4,000 specialized road bike from an apartment complex.

Silicon Valley realtor charged with LAH grand theft, elder abuse

Detectives have arrested a Silicon Valley realtor they believe conned an elderly Los Altos Hills man out of $475,000 through phony real estate deals.

Geana Or

Lathrop resident Geana Or, also known as Geana Lay, 46, is charged with grand theft and elder abuse. Lathrop Police arrested her May 1 on a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office warrant, according to a sheriff’s office press release. Or is being held on a $1 million bond.

Between January and March 2015, Or convinced the 73-year-old victim to write 10 cashier’s checks in her name for the purchase of two Bay Area homes supposedly approaching foreclosure, according to the press release. Another elderly victim, a resident of South Santa Clara County, was targeted in a similar way, and both victims were told in December that their real estate deals had fallen through. Neither victim was reimbursed.

A realtor.com profile page indicates Or serves San Jose and specializes in dream homes, luxury homes and real estate investments at the $525,000 price point.

Detectives believe there could be additional victims of the scam and encourage anyone with criminal information about Or to contact Sgt. Mark Roggia of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office West Valley Detective Unit at (408) 868-6631.

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Hills man arrested on molestation charges

 Gregory Helfrich
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 charged him with child molestation and possession of child pornography, according to a sheriff’s office press release issued Wednesday (May 4). They reportedly found printed and digital images of child pornography in Helfrich’s bedroom.

According to the release, the abuse occurred when the victim was between the ages of 5 and 12; he is now in his late 20s.

Helfrich is being held without bail and as of approximately 10:30 a.m. Wednesday was being transported to Palo Alto for a court hearing, said Capt. Rick Sung, division commander of the sheriff's West Valley Patrol.

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Detective Unit at (408) 808-4500 or their local law enforcement agency.


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Minivan takes out power, hydrant in Los Altos neighborhood

Eastbrook accident
Courtesy of David Bergman
A screenshot from a video taken of the Eastbrook traffic accident.

Updated Thursday, 9:30 a.m.:

A rush hour traffic accident Wednesday morning (May 4) in Los Altos caused a neighborhood power outage and a burst fire hydrant.

LAH crash claims life of Los Gatos resident

A 47-year-old Los Gatos woman died April 25 after her vehicle overturned on Interstate 280 in Los Altos Hills.

The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office identified the deceased as Gina Whitson. Whitson’s 2015 Hyundai was the only vehicle involved in the crash, and no one else was injured.

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