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.


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.

The incident occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m. 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.

No one – including the minivan’s 1-and-a-half-year-old passenger – was injured in the single-vehicle accident.

Montiel said the driver was unable to explain what caused him to swerve, but investigators have determined alcohol or drugs were not a factor.

“He wasn’t sure what happened,” Montiel said.

Eastbrook Avenue was closed for a few hours as fire, police, power and water officials worked the scene, but they managed to shut off power to the utility pole and water to the hydrant by 10 a.m., according to the Santa Clara County Fire Department.

PG&E's website reported a power outage to 88 customers along Eastbrook Avenue between Putter Way and Par Avenue.

The driver will not face criminal charges, but he is considered at fault for the accident, Montiel said.

This report will be updated as additional information becomes available.

MV council adopts rent dispute ordinance, despite reservations

Despite criticism that it lacked teeth, the Mountain View City Council approved last week a second reading and adoption of a controversial program aimed at resolving rental-housing disputes between tenants and landlords.


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.


City purchases Lincoln Park from county

Town Crier File Photo
Lincoln Park, which the city of Los Altos has maintained for more than 50 years, is now officially city property.

The grassy strip along Foothill Expressway known as Lincoln Park now belongs to Los Altos for the price of $1.02 million.

The Los Altos City Council last week agreed to spend a million dollars to gain a few more: The transaction from Santa Clara County to the city includes transferring approximately $3 million allocated to undergrounding of the area’s high-voltage electrical lines.


Police partner to deter distracted driving

Erica Ray/Special to the Town Crier
Police officers from the city of Santa Clara last week supported traffic safety efforts in Los Altos.

Seven law enforcement agencies hit the streets of Los Altos last week to crack down on distracted driving throughout the city.

“The increased police presence just really reinforces awareness about public safety,” said Los Altos Police Capt. Andy Galea. “Traffic is one of our main issues in our city – as with just about every city in the state of California.”


Los Altos Hills family honors son by helping others

Andrew’s room is colorful with geometric prints and woodland-themed pillows invitingly stacked on the bed. An orange armchair occupies one corner and boxy green lamps stand sentry on the night tables. Although Andrew never entered the room, his presence lingers.

“I could really see him in there, and I could see him with the kids,” said Randall Kruep, Andrew’s father. “It was something really positive, what he did.”


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