Los Altos officer nabs suspect in Mountain View Walmart robbery

Jason Castro

A Los Altos police officer last week helped Mountain View officers apprehend a man ultimately arrested on robbery and assault charges following a scuffle with a Walmart loss-prevention officer.

Burglars bust into Los Altos shop, gas station

Los Altos Police detectives are investigating two Fremont Avenue burglaries that occurred over the same night last week. 

Mountain View firefighters save auto shop business

Evelyn Avenue Fire” width=
Courtesy of the Mountain View Fire Department
Mountain View Fire Department firefighters work to put out a blaze at an Evelyn Avenue auto shop Sunday.

A fire at a Mountain View auto repair shop caused approximately $300,000 worth of damage to the structure and the building’s contents early Sunday (Jan. 5) morning, but no one was injured in the blaze. 

Richmond residents steal from three cities, nabbed in Mountain View

Juan Rodriguez

Mountain View police have arrested two men for burglary after observing them casing cars on Grant Road.

Richmond residents Ricardo Zepeda, 19, and Juan Rodriguez, 20, were taken into custody Thursday morning, according to an MVPD press release that also stated both men are suspected of burglarizing vehicles in Mountain View, Sunnyvale and San Jose.

At approximately 11 a.m. that day, police received calls about a suspicious vehicle and two men casing cars in the 1000 block of Grant. Police said witnesses told them that the men were trying car door handles before getting into a grey Infiniti sedan and heading into a nearby parking lot.

Mountain View officers could not find the vehicle initially, but approximately a half hour later, the car was spotted by witnesses leaving the scene where an auto burglary had just occurred near Middlefield Avenue and Whisman Road.

Detectives and patrol officers fanned out across the city and spotted the sedan just after the men had committed a second auto burglary, police said in the release. Detectives followed the men, who drove into another parking lot and parked. Again, they weaved through nearby vehicles in an effort to case them.

The detectives then detained both suspects in the 500 block of North Rengstorff Avenue. Zepeda and Rodriguez were booked into the Santa Clara County Jail, with bails at $300,000 and $200,000 respectively.

Ricardo Zepeda

During their investigation, detectives discovered multiple items reported stolen from the three cities. They identified the victims and are in the process of returning the property.

“The efforts of our team here resulted in the return of valuable items to those who were victimized by two men who committed these crimes of opportunity,” Mountain View Police Lt. Frank St. Clair said in the release. “This would not have been successful without multiple people taking the time to let us know about the crimes they saw unfold.”

According to the Santa Clara County inmate booking information portal, the suspects have been moved to the same barrack in the Elmwood Men’s Correctional Facility in Milpitas. Their bail has also been changed since booking, with the portal indicating no bail allowed. They are scheduled to appear in court together at noon Monday. {jathumbnail off}

Los Altos crime roundup: Burglaries drop, but vandalism, auto thefts rise

Car break-ins and burglaries are on the minds of Los Altos residents, if social media reports and Nextdoor posts are any indication.

Neighborhood Watch sign” width=
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
With certain types of crime on the increase, the Los Altos Police Department urges residents to enroll in the city’s Neighborhood Watch program.

As 2019 comes to a close, local crime statistics herald both good and bad news. Residential and commercial burglaries did not experience a significant uptick compared with 2018 and actually declined compared with 2017. However, other property crimes spiked as reports of vandalism and stolen cars increased.

Mountain View police dog retires from service

Upon retirement from the police force, most officers receive a pension. Odin aus der Glockenbergsschaferel’s will be granted in the form of head pats and belly scratches.

Dorene Hansen Odin” width=
Courtesy of the MVPD
Mountain View Police Department Detective Dorene Hansen pets Odin, her 8-year-old German shepherd partner. After six years on the force, Odin is retiring.

After six years with the Mountain View Police Department, the 8-year-old German shepherd’s well-earned rest comes with the recent promotion of his human partner, Dorene Hansen, from officer to detective with the department’s burglary crime suppression unit. Odin, as he’s known to his friends, will continue to live with Hansen and her family. The department will eventually purchase a new dog to join German shepherds Ares and Thor on the patrol team.

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