Los Altos High School

An anonymous phone call about a bomb planted on Los Altos High School's campus forced the school's evacuation Oct. 1. The threat was later determined to be not credible.

As of Tuesday (Oct. 12), the Los Altos, Mountain View and San Jose police departments were unable to provide additional information about the recent incidents that disrupted classes and forced the evacuations of Los Altos, St. Francis and Presentation high schools, respectively. The suspect or suspects remain at large.

Los Altos High was targeted first. At approximately 8:55 a.m. Oct. 1, school staff received an anonymous call about a purported incendiary device on the Almond Avenue grounds.

The calls threatening St. Francis and Presentation were placed within approximately an hour of one another Oct. 5, and San Jose Police Department representatives said they originated from the same telephone number. But law enforcement officials have yet to confirm a link to the Los Altos case as well.

“We are still investigating the origin of the phone number for our incident,” Los Altos Police Department Capt. Katie Krauss wrote in an email to the Town Crier. “Our department has communicated with (the Mountain View Police Department) and we are sharing information to determine if our cases are connected.”

St. Francis students heard about the events unfolding at Presentation as they congregated in Cuesta Park after evacuating their own grounds, said Sienna Sirovita, a sophomore at the school and the daughter of a Town Crier employee.

“Everyone was kind of shaken up,” she said. “There were a few people who were actually crying.”

The following day, the St. Francis student body prayed about what had transpired, and some students even emailed school staff members to check up on them after the scare, said Jason Curtis, president of the administration.

“It’s really inspiring and humbling to have students that care about you that much,” he said.

St. Francis is cooperating with the investigation, Curtis added.

Susan Hartle, a Los Altos native, has been following news coverage of the threats with interest. She recalled a series of at least five bomb hoaxes at Los Altos High when she attended the school between 1957 and 1960. One led to an off-campus evacuation.

“We all thought it was a big lark, so we all jumped in our cars and went off to Spivey’s or Johnny Mac’s, unbeknownst to us that we’d have to make up the time,” she said, referring to two popular drive-in restaurants of the time.

Police eventually traced at least some of the calls to a former student who may have struggled with psychiatric problems, Hartle said.

“After they caught her, it stopped,” Hartle said. “I don’t remember it happening again.”