Could Hilltop and Taaffe robberies be related?

Provided photo
An artist’s rendition of the Taaffe Road robbery suspects

The arrest of three suspects connected to Monday's (May 11) home invasion robbery in Los Altos Hills has some locals questioning whether the men might be responsible for a similar incident in town last year that may have contributed to the victim's death.

Oakland Police Department officers arrested the trio in Oakland Monday afternoon, but they have not released their names or cities of residence because investigations are ongoing. One of the open investigations relates to Monday's robbery in the 12000 block of Hilltop Drive.


Suspected Los Altos ID thief served arrest warrant

NEWS Arrest Evelyn Hernandez
Evelyn Hernandez

A San Jose woman suspected of stealing the identity of a Los Altos resident was found already behind bars, according to Los Altos Police Sgt. Mark Bautista.

Bautista reported May 6 that Evelyn Hernandez, 44, was recently served an arrest warrant at Elmwood Correctional Facility for a crime committed in February.


Pinewood alum dies in off-roading accident

When Andrew Joseph Kruep was just 15, he spent a month living on an Alaskan glacier. At Pinewood High School, he captained his football team. And while still in college, he traveled across Europe conducting pricing and competitive analyses for a top LED lighting company.

Whatever Kruep chose to do, he always did it with great energy and enthusiasm, said Randall Kruep, his father.


Police Blotter

Arrests and citations

April 27, 2:42 a.m., Almond Avenue and North Gordon Way: After officers stopped a motorist for speeding, a search of the vehicle revealed that the 19-year-old male driver was in possession of marijuana. He was released with a citation.

May 1, 10:40 a.m., 1900 block of Fallen Leaf Lane: A resident reported a suspect stealing packages from driveways. Officers located a vehicle matching the resident’s description and learned that the driver, a 38-year-old San Jose resident, had taken an item marked “Free” from a front yard. Upon further investigation, officers discovered that he had an outstanding warrant for theft. He was arrested and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail.


Pinewood School graduate killed in Monterey County off-roading accident

A Pinewood School graduate has died following an off-roading accident that severely injured his four companions.

Andrew Joseph Kruep, 24, died instantly April 18 from injuries sustained when the Jeep he rode in rolled off a trail near Lockwood in Monterey County and tumbled 700 feet down an embankment, according to California Highway Patrol reports and his family.

Emergency crews transported the four survivors to area hospitals for treatment. The CHP identified them as Spencer N. Blodgett, 24, of Lafayette; Myles Andrew Franklin, 21, of San Luis Obispo; Sean Ross Mullen, 22, of San Luis Obispo; and Darren Thomas Mullen, 25, of San Luis Obispo.

The accident occurred at approximately 1:40 a.m. as Kruep and his friends drove through Williams Hill Recreation Area, according to the CHP. All five men were ejected from the vehicle. It took rescue crews approximately 8 hours to extricate the victims due to the remote location.

As of April 29, a CHP investigation of the crash continued.

Kruep was born in St. Louis and lived in Denver for a time before moving with his family to Los Altos Hills, where he spent much of his life. He graduated from Pinewood School in 2009 and earned a B.S. degree in Biochemistry from St. Mary's College in May 2014. After college, Kruep worked as a business development manager for an environmental remediation technology firm serving the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest. He planned to attend business school.

Andrew KruepAn avid sports enthusiast and outdoorsman, Kruep served as the captain of Pinewood's football team, played college football and lacrosse and enjoyed hunting, sailing and Thai kickboxing. He was a member of St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Los Altos and volunteered at the Stanford Ronald McDonald House.

Kruep's family described him as "an exceptional snow skier, a voracious reader and an aspiring, self-taught chef and baker."

Kruep "approached life with a great deal of curiosity and gusto," according to his family. "He was a quick study, funny and witty. He never backed down from anything or anyone. His kindness could be seen by the way he played with his puppy, Greta."

Kruep is survived by his parents, Donna and Randall Kruep, and his younger siblings, Julia and Christian.

A celebration of life funeral mass was held April 23 at St. Nicholas Church.

Champion marksman dies in MV fire

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View firefighters clear debris in the aftermath of a home fire on Lola Lane,

A man died Thursday after an early-morning fire destroyed his Mountain View home.

The man, identified as resident Dan Theodore by his neighbors, was the only casualty. No one else was injured in the blaze.


Police Blotter

Arrests and citations

April 21, 12:30 a.m., Foothill Expressway and Magdalena Avenue: Officers stopped a motorist for a vehicle code violation and determined that the 27-year-old male driver had been consuming alcohol. A DUI investigation found the driver under the legal limit, but officers conducted a search of the car and discovered illegal narcotics. The man was released at the scene with a criminal citation.

April 23, 11:15 a.m., Marlbarough Avenue and Ranchita Drive: A 53-year-old woman rammed her car into a tree. Officers determined that she was driving under the influence. She was arrested and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail.


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