Police Calls: Tows, Parking Skirmishes & Towing Galore

New time limit enforcement began at the Foothill Crossings shopping center, residents complain about parking in their neighborhood, and a car gets stolen out of its garage.



This week’s police incidents lead to some top-of-mind thoughts: Los Altos is safe, but remember to lock all outside doors, folks. And don’t leave your keys in the car—along with other valuables—even when your car is parked in the garage. Secondly, mind your time when parking at Foothill Crossings shopping center at the southerly end of Foothill Expressway. By Thursday, 13 vehicles had been towed for overstaying the time limit at the center.  

The week of police incidents in Los Altos started with the Friday, June 22, apparently the designated day for burglar alarms to go off , due to malfunction or user error. There were six commercial and residential alarm calls from 9 in the morning to nearly 7 p.m. that night.

Early Saturday morning, on June 23, however, one family in south Los Altos had some unwelcome excitement. A woman on the 1900 block of Colleen Drive awoke to find her beige Acura SUV had just left the garage! The side door leading to the garage had been left unlocked, a laptop was inside, along with a wallet … and the keys were in the car, a  Los Altos police sergeant said. Her husband sprung into his car and drove around the neighborhood to see if he could spot the car, which he soon did, left in the Woodland Library parking lot, sans computer and wallet. 

Monday, June 25, began the Great Vehicle Towing Era at Foothill Crossings shopping center in south Los Altos. Patch has not yet contacted the shopping center management, but there have been an average of three tows a day for vehicles exceeding the time limit for parking at the center. Three vehicles were towed at 11:35 p.m., 12:39 p.m. and 1:09 p.m. Police were called at 12:21 p.m. to help with a disturbance that ensued when a driver returned to find his or her vehicle gone.

Early Tuesday morning, June 26, shortly before 1 a.m., police arrested a person on El Camino Real and Rengstorff Avenue on charges of being drunk in public. The towing continued apace at 2310 Homestead Road the Foothill Crossings shopping center. Three vehicles were towed at 11:19 a.m., 2:06 p.m. and 4:35 p.m.  Police took a report after a resident called at 11:43 a.m. to report a burglary on the 200 block of Alicia Way. A 3:52 p.m. a business on the 800 block of Fremont Avenue reported the grand theft of a laptop computer. 

On Wednesday, June 27, a concerned citizen contacted police to check on the welfare of a woman who appeared to be wandering on the 500 block of Almond Avenue at 6:10 a.m. When police made contact, they found she was wanted on a $10,000 warrant for misdemeanor assault and battery. They arrested Dorothy Stefanki, 48, of San Jose and booked her into San Jose jail. At 9:12 a.m., there was a parking complaint at Queensbury Avenue and Wakefield Terrace. The individual was reprimanded and released. Police were called at 9:40 a.m. on a gas leaf blower violation on the 100 block of Loucks Avenue. The responding officer advised the gardener of the law. Towing continued at the Foothill Crossings shopping center. Three vehicles were towed, at 11:32 a.m., 12:13 p.m. and 3:43 p.m.

The police calls started early on Thursday, June 28, when residents on the 1600 block of Juarez Avenue called police via 911 to report that gunshots were heard. Police responding to the call found used fireworks and advised residents. Police were called at 8:42 a.m. to the 300 block of University Avenue on a suspected gas leaf blower violation. Police informed the person of the municipal code. Towing continued for a fourth day at Foothill Crossings. There were four vehicles towed, at 11:54 a.m., 1:20 p.m., 3:29 p.m., and 3:46 p.m. Thursday was also a Farmers Market day in downtown Los Altos, and two cars were towed from 170 and 209 State Street around 2:40 p.m. Just to make things interesting, there was an inconclusive report of a deer walking in the road on Mount Hamilton Avenue, near busy San Antonio Avenue. Nothing further was reported, so we don’t know whether police actually saw the deer. There was more street parking discontent at Wakefield Terrace and Queensbury Avenue for the second day running. At 2:59 p.m., someone reported an abandoned camper at the intersection, which is a bend in the road in a residential neighborhood, but no police action was recorded. Then at 8:44 p.m., another complaint was called in. Responding police issued a citation


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