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Stupid Criminal Tricks

It's been a long year for local law enforcement. Our staff has pored through the log books and culled out some of the most incredible criminal antics of the year.

Trespassing--May 15, 8pm. Residents of a home on Peach Tree Court in Campbell returned home Saturday night to discover an adult woman in their home eating their food. According to the Campbell police log, the woman feigned insanity and told the residents that she lived at their home. Police arrived soon thereafter and found the woman lying on a bed eating cookies.

Dammit! Nymphs Cavorting in My Swimming Pool Again?
Trespassing--March 16, 6:26pm, on Via Palomino in Los Gatos. A resident reported three 16- to 18-year-old girls were in his pool. They accessed the pool from his side gate.

You Know, It Was Really Something: Despite the Language Barrier, We Were Able to Understand Each Other Perfectly
Armed Robbery--Jan. 28, 8:51pm, 10700 block of S. De Anza Boulevard in Cupertino. A subject entered a restaurant and held the two employees behind the counter at gun point. The robber and the employees couldn't communicate because of language differences, but the suspect was still able to steal $400 in cash from two drawers, disable the telephone and force the employees into a freezer. The subject wore all black and a black ski mask with eye cut-outs.

Lucky Day
Petty Theft--April 8, 5:10pm, De Anza Smog and Auto Repair in Cupertino. A woman prepaid $20 for gas. After pumping the gas, she returned to the cash register to collect her change. The clerk mistakenly returned $76.19 to the female instead of the $6.50 due to her. The female accepted the money, left the building and entered her vehicle. The clerk realized his mistake and attempted to stop the woman by banging on her vehicle and yelling "stop!" The woman put her vehicle in reverse and intentionally evaded the clerk. The suspect remains at large.

Now Hear This: There Is a Blue-Light Special on Aisle 29. Hey, Let Go of Me!
Drunk in Public--July 5, 1pm, on Union Avenue in Campbell. A woman in her 30s was arrested for public intoxication. She reportedly persisted in entering a local business and making comments on the store's loudspeaker system.

I Am Not a Crook, I'm Merely a Trespasser Who Has Lost His Way
Under the Influence/Soliciting Without a License--Aug. 25, 12:30pm, in Saratoga. A resident reported a man looking into neighborhood homes and yelling, "So don't vote for me." Deputies approached the man and found him to be excited and very sweaty and nervous. The suspect said he was selling magazines door-to-door, but he did not have a permit. Deputies arrested the man for being under the influence and soliciting without a permit.

The Modern Activist (Just Put Some Crank in Him and Watch Him Go!)
Disturbance--April 30, 5:20pm, in Campbell. The day that many Californians opted to boycott gas stations in attempts to lower rising gas prices, Campbell police officers spotted a 28-year-old man at the Sunnyoaks Shell station on Winchester Boulevard yelling and swearing at passersby about the "Gas Out." According to the police report, the man was extremely agitated. He was found to be under the influence of crank, and he had two arrest warrants totaling $30,000.

I'd Like to Buy Everyone at the Bar a Tank of Gas and a Week's Worth of Groceries
Charge Cards Stolen--Nov. 5, 7pm, on Walnut Avenue in Saratoga. A resident noticed someone had charged $473.63 worth of groceries on his Wells Fargo credit card at Safeway in Redwood City. The victim also noticed $506.17 was charged to his UNOCAL gas card. The victim's wife noticed several of her credit and membership cards were missing, too. Both victims suspect the cards were taken by a man they hired to trim trees at their residence. No arrests have been made.

That's Him! The One With the Runny Nose!
Theft--July 20, 12:10pm, in Campbell. A 19-year-old man was reported to have swallowed a stolen cold pill after being confronted by store security outside of Longs Drug Store on North Star Avenue. The suspect had taken the pill from a box, returned the box to the shelf and purchased a drink.

Just Hang Up and Accuse Your Friends of Grand Theft
Car Accident--Oct. 30, 12:30am. Police arrested a 22-year-old motorist who crashed while talking on his cell phone at the corner of Winchester Boulevard and Rincon Avenue. He lost control, crashed into a fire hydrant, a streetlight and a city tree. He then left his intoxicated, injured passenger in the car and called Campbell authorities to claim his car had been stolen. Police eventually coaxed him back to the scene.

Freudian Slip
Misunderstanding--Nov. 18, 2:45pm. A 29-year-old San Jose resident called Burns Security on West Hamilton Avenue and threatened to use a gun and shoot "Burns." However, when speaking to the police, the suspect, a former Burns employee, claimed to have said he was going to sue them, not shoot them. Police blamed a language barrier.

Act of Heroism
Assault--Nov. 17, 8am, in Campbell. At Vasona Chevron gas station, on the corner of Winchester Boulevard and Hacienda Avenue, an employee was cleaning the gas station parking lot with a leaf blower when a unknown suspect grabbed him and screamed for him to stop.

Crimes of Passion

Unlovin' Spoonful
Domestic Dispute--Oct. 14, 10:39pm, in Campbell. A 21-year-old man who lives on Alpha Court was arrested after attacking his girlfriend with a spoon and his fists. The victim had bumps on her head and forehead and sustained a cut under her eye. Police found the suspect a block away with no injuries. He complained of pains to his head and alleged that his girlfriend hit him 20 times with a spoon.

Now You Ski, Now You Don't
Residential Theft--Feb. 18, 7pm, on Town Terrace in Los Gatos. The caller's ex-girlfriend was seen leaving his apartment with his ski equipment.

A Really Special Night
Check Theft--Between 9pm May 17 and 9am May 8, 600 block of Iris Avenue in Sunnyvale. The suspect spent the night at the victim's house. While the victim took a shower the following morning, the suspect took a check and wrote it to herself in the amount of $275, forging the victim's signature and cashing it at a credit union. Later that morning, the police contacted the suspect and confirmed the forgery and theft through a handwriting sample.

From the Apologetic Criminals Desk ...

But Do We Really Need a Stove?
Attempted Grand Theft--Feb. 11, 7:59pm, De Anza Maytag Home Appliance Center. The reporting party said he was working at the De Anza Maytag store in Cupertino when two unknown males approached his store and attempted to take away an electric range. The caller said he confronted the two individuals, who left the scene in their vehicle without incident.

Last Supper
Dining Without Cash--July 19, 6:38pm, 800 block of East El Camino Real in Sunnyvale. A 30-year-old man entered a restaurant and ate a meal totaling $50.28, knowing he was unable to pay for his dinner. After eating, he informed the manager that he could not pay and suggested that the manager call the police.

When Thieves Watch Their Karma
Grand Theft--Jan. 30, 1:36pm, on Farley Road in Cupertino. A blue 21-speed bike was taken from a resident's back yard within the past few days. The possible suspect left a bike in exchange.

All in the Family

What's a little robbery/assault/ arrest between family members?

No Doubt Returned to Its Proper Place by Those Little Gremlins Who Steal Socks From the Dryer
Grand Theft--Jan. 24, 10:08pm, on Birchwood Court in Los Gatos. A woman called to report that her daughter had stolen her $7,000 mink coat. The coat was later found in the woman's closet.

Boy's Gotta Learn Some Respect
Theft--April 22, 9:30pm. A woman phoned the Campbell Police Department to report that her 13-year-old son had been stealing money from her purse and she wished to press charges.

A Mother Will Do Anything for-- Make That To--Her Child
Trespassing--Oct. 17, 4:45pm, in Campbell. After being kicked out of his mother's house, a 19-year-old returned to sleep in the back yard. Mom, upon discovering her son, wanted police to give the suspect a trespassing admonishment. The suspect was booked for an outstanding $10,000 warrant and for trespassing.

Massive Understatement
Vandalism--Sept. 11, 2:02pm, on Castlewood Drive in Los Gatos. The father of a female victim's child kicked down the door of the mother's residence and forced his way inside. The woman claimed the man was not adhering to the terms of his visitation rights.

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From the December 30, 1999-January 5, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 1999 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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