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Chief’s Community Update

July 11, 2018

This weekly update will include information about the recent efforts of the police department and provide you with information regarding recent incidents, crime trends, and community resource information.  Please take a moment to search our website and take advantage of the features.

Recent Events:

For the July 4th holiday, I scheduled additional officers to be on duty and I wanted to provide the community with a synopsis of their efforts.  Although calls related to fireworks in the days leading up to the holiday were lower than in recent years, calls for service for this Independence Day were about the same as in past years (7am on 7/4 to 7am on 7/5). 

A Sergeant supervised the team of seven officers that started shortly after 3pm on July 4th and they remained on duty until approximately 3am hours on July 5th. The team began patrolling the city looking for signs of any organized events because in the past and especially prior to the Loud and Unruly Noise ordinance, people would set up stages in their yards and have live bands playing music until all hours of the night.  The team found no evidence of any organized events but by 7pm, calls for service related to a variety of bad behavior began to escalate. 

By 8pm, firework calls were coming in and the team responded to many areas of the city.  Sadly, in most cases, the people involved in the illegal discharge were EPA residents that were impacting and endangering other EPA residents. At several locations the officers encountered groups of over 50 subjects the majority of whom were uncooperative, verbally abusive and extremely agitated.  The officers went from one location to the next and in most cases people were standing in proximity of the fireworks but none were holding them (possession) which is what it takes to charge someone with “possession” of fireworks. 

During the operation, officers responded to over 87 incidents some of which were “on-viewed” by officers and others which were called in by community members. The officers confiscated over 250lbs of fireworks and other dangerous explosives. Due to the large volume of residents discharging dangerous fireworks, the focus of the operation changed to a suppression and confiscation of fireworks. As I said before, many of the locations the officers responded to involved multiple households and a large amount of people.

While responding to fireworks being discharged in the area of 2000 block of Lincoln Avenue, officers were confronted with gunfire. They located the suspect and heard him fire four shots into the air.  They initiated a foot pursuit and during the pursuit, the suspect turned toward an officer and pointed the gun at one of the pursuing officers.  Just as he was pointing the gun at the Officer, the suspect tripped and fell to the ground.  As he fell to the ground, he lost his grip on his gun and it fell out of his hand.  The officers took him into custody and placed him under arrest for negligent discharge of a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm, and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person.

Unfortunately, many of the law abiding members of our community had to endure the impact from the bad behavior by these individuals (many of which are also members of our community) please know that the officers of the East Palo Alto Police Department were out there working hard to protect you and as you can see it was at great personal risk.


Crime and Arrests:
   

July 2, 2018                         1:00 AM                              1700 block of Bay Road

The suspect, Victor Alexan Menjivar German, was stopped on his bicycle for a vehicle code infraction.  German had no form of identification on him, so he was asked to verbally identify himself.  However, the information he provided did not match his physical description and he was confronted with the discrepancy.  At this point, he provided additional information about his identity and as an Officer was writing him a citation, he fled on foot.  The officers chased and took him into custody.  He was booked into the county jail for Personate to make liable and Resisting arrest.


July 8, 2018                         5:14 PM                                      Chevron Gas Station

The suspect, Terry Gaines, was once again trespassing at the Chevron station.  Gaines has previously been arrested 61 times for trespassing at this particular Chevron Gas Station.  Gaines is on probation for trespassing at this Chevron Gas Station.  Gaines was arrested and booked into the San Mateo County Jail for his 62nd trespass arrest at our Chevron Gas Station.


July 9, 2018                         1:48 AM                                      1400 block of Bay Road

Earlier in the day, the victim accidently dropped his car keys in front of his house.  His neighbor and who is the suspect in this case, Rajnesh Lal, picked up his car keys.  Instead of returning the keys like a good neighbor, Lal stole his neighbor’s car.  At 1:48 AM, the patrol Sergeant who was on routine patrol spotted the stolen car being driven by Lal.  When the Sergeant attempted a traffic stop, Lal fled in the stolen car, starting a vehicle pursuit.  During the vehicle pursuit, Lal turned off the lights on the car and drove fast and recklessly through residential neighborhoods.  The Sergeant, who pursued as safely as possible, could not keep up with Lal’s reckless evading and lost sight of him.  A short time later, the victim’s vehicle was found at East Bayshore Road and Euclid Avenue where it had collided into a water main and the sound wall.  Lal had already fled the collision scene on foot.  After handling the collision, Officers went to Lal’s home and arrested him.  Lal said he was addicted to crystal methamphetamines and made a bad decision.   Lal was booked into the county jail vehicle theft, reckless evasion in a vehicle and probation violation.

The July Beat Meeting Schedule is as follows:

Beat Two

Date: Thursday, July 5, 2018

Time: 06:30 pm ? 08:00 pm

Location: Ecumenical Hunger Program

(2411 Pulgas Avenue, EPA, CA 94303)

Beat Three

Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Time: 06:30 pm ? 08:00 pm

Location: Peninsula Park Apartments

(1977 Tate Street, EPA, CA 94303)

Beat One & Four

Date: Thursday, July 19, 2018

Time: 06:30 pm ? 08:00 pm

Location: Community Room at City Hall

(2415 University Avenue, EPA, CA 94303)

The July 2018 Crime Prevention Newsletter and the National Night Out Flyer for this year's locations are now available on the City Website.  Please go to the following link to access these:

http://www.ci.east-palo-alto.ca.us/index.aspx?nid=483


How to make an anonymous tip to the police:

When providing information to the police, we need specific information about the crime or criminal.  As an example, if you are reporting someone for dealing drugs, we need to know where and when they are selling the drugs, a detailed description of them (white female, blue jeans, red jacket, base ball cap), any description of a vehicle, and any other information you have about the crime.  While I don’t expect you to jeopardize your safety to get this information it is very important for us if we make an arrest.  Not only will your tip provide us with accurate information about the suspect, we are able to serve as a witness to the crime and we can testify in court.  Please use these options for providing an anonymous tip.

You can make an anonymous tip to the police by calling or texting to (650) 409-6792.

Wanted Persons: 

We have several photographs of wanted suspects on the website for the community to view.  To see the photographs, please select the “Wanted Persons” tab, click on the RED “Wanted Persons” icon to view the information.  If you see any of the “Wanted” individuals, DO NOT attempt to contact them.  Please call 9-1-1 and report the information and the police department will investigate the information you provide.

Crime Trends:

Theft from cars and homes: Cases of suspects entering cars and residence through unlocked windows or doors when the owners are absent are increasing.  The suspects often search through the car or residence and take small items of value (cash, jewelry, electronic devices) that are easy to sell.  Please lock your car and residence when you leave.  If you want to leave a window ajar for ventilation, it is recommended that you use a locking device to prevent access.  If you notice anyone suspicious loitering in the area please call us at (650) 321-1112 or 9-1-1 in case of emergency.