Burglars pose as utility workers in distraction scam

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office issued a warning last week about “distraction burglars” that disproportionally target seniors.

Local police departments have been receiving reports about attempted burglars who pose as utility company workers. The scam begins with a knock on the door and a “worker” saying that he or she needs to come inside to assess equipment or discuss a bill. The scammers sometimes approach homeowners offering vehicle repair, roof work or driveway cement repair. In a few instances, they have even posed as animal control officers, claiming that a dangerous animal may be in the backyard.

Fried ride: transient accused of forcing man to drive him to KFC

A 21-year-old transient faces a slew of charges after allegedly hopping into a stranger’s car and forcing the man to ferry him to a Mountain View KFC restaurant.

Alberto Ulloa-Avila
Ulloa-Avila

Mountain View Police officers arrested Alberto Ulloa-Avila shortly after Saturday’s incident and charged him with kidnapping, making criminal threats, vehicle theft, violating a protective order and driving on a suspended license.

The carjacking started in downtown San Jose at approximately 3 a.m. According to a Mountain View Police Department report, Ulloa-Avila climbed into a 31-year-old San Jose man’s car as the driver attempted to find a parking spot near the intersection of Santa Clara and 14th streets. Ulloa-Avila allegedly demanded the driver take him wherever he desired under threat of physical harm.

The intended destination, apparently, was the KFC located in the 600 block of West El Camino Real in Mountain View. The report indicates Ulloa-Avila attempted to rob the driver upon their arrival and then commandeered the vehicle when the driver evaded him on foot. He chased the victim across El Camino Real, which is where police officers found the pair when they responded to calls about the crime. They arrested Ulloa-Avila without further incident.

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Police Blotter, Week of April 23-30

Auto Burglary

April 28, 10:58 p.m.: 1100 block of North Rengstorff Avenue, Mountain View

April 27, 9:32 a.m.: 300 block of Easy Street, Mountain View

Hills residents accused of Iran sanctions violation

Two Los Altos Hills residents appeared in court last week on charges they had violated an export embargo the U.S. maintains as part of its economic sanctions against Iran.

In the Department of Justice’s indictment, Sadr Emad-Vaez and Pouran Aazad are both described as executives involved in the management of Tehran-based Ghare Sabz Company, a large auto parts manufacturer, and accused of facilitating the illegal export of goods and related financial transactions. U.S. citizens are required to secure a special license before participating in almost any business relationship within Iran. A third executive, described as a resident of Tehran, was named in the same indictment.

Sheriff's Office moves to bolster LAH presence

Nestled between reminders of an upcoming community run and a spring garbage collection, an item titled “Burglary Prevention” glares from the cover of the Los Altos Hills March 1979 newsletter.

“Burglaries increased 36 percent in Los Altos Hills last year. … Many burglaries are the result of unlocked doors,” according to the copy. “Always lock your home, garage and out-buildings. Keep valuables, including garden equipment, in locked sheds. Do not hide keys outside your house. Report suspicious vehicles or solicitors to the Sheriff’s Office immediately. These tips can help reduce our burglary statistics!”

Sentencing looms for former MVHS teacher

The former Mountain View High School math teacher arrested last November for allegedly sending inappropriate text messages to a student pleaded no contest March 28 to a felony charge of sending harmful matter to a minor.

Evan Smith
Evan Smith

Evan Smith’s sentencing is scheduled May 3. If convicted, the Mountain View resident would be required to register as a sex offender and could spend a year in county jail or more than a year in state prison, according to the California Penal Code.


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