Weekly Police Call Roundup: Doorbell Ditch and Run

Los Altos Patch looks back at selected incidents logged from Los Altos police logs between July 27 and Aug. 3. Among them: a person sleeping in a car, traffic collisions, trespassing, harassing phone calls, and a doorbell ditch.

Editor's Note: We provide a round-up of trends and day-by-day incidents of note in narrative form each week. Any arrest information below does not indicate a conviction.

There were numerous traffic collisions during the week, including two with major injuries. On July 27 a hit and run accident with property damage was reported at 12:50 p.m. on the 400 Block of University Avenue. No police report was requested.  At 4:30 p.m. Tuesday police responded to a non-injury traffic accident at West El Camino Real and El Monte Avenue.  On Thursday at 2:45 p.m. a traffic accident occurred on the 24000 Block of Summerhill Ave. resulting in major injuries. Later, at 9:09 p.m., police responded to another accident with major injuries at El Camino Real and Showers Drive.  Victims in both accidents were transported to local hospitals.

Suspicious people and vehicles were noted during the week. Early July 30 police were called to check an occupied vehicle at Thatcher Drive and Odell Way. By the time officers arrived at 6:46 a.m. the vehicle was gone. At 7:42 p.m. Wednesday, police received a report of a suspicious person sleeping in a vehicle on the 600 Block of Berry Avenue. Officers responded and advised the subject to move on.

Police responded to two reports of abandoned vehicles on Wednesday. Officers tagged the first vehicle, at Miramonte Avenue and Manor Way, at 4:30 p.m. Later, at 8:33 p.m., they tagged the second vehicle at Carmel and Del Monte avenues. 

A report of harassing phone calls at an address on the 1200 Block of Via Huerta came in to police headquarters at 4:33 p.m. Wednesday. Officers responded and took a report.

Animals and trees: At 8:05 a.m.  July 30, police were called to the 300 Block of El Monte Avenue on the report of a dead animal in the roadway. Officers removed it. A dog was reported to be loose on Highway 101 at 7:46 p.m. Tuesday. Police transferred the call to the California Highway Patrol.  A resident called Thursday morning to report a tree branch down across the roadway at Fremont Avenue and Parma Way. An officer arrived at 10:37 a.m. and moved the branch to the side of the road.

While vendors were busy setting up for the weekly downtown Farmers’ Market on Thursday, two cars parked nearby were towed away. At 2:36 p.m. police responded to a general tow complaint at 260 State St., and, just minutes later, at 2:43 p.m. a second general tow complaint at 140 Third St. Officers made tow reports in both cases.

And, finally … A resident on the 400 block of Pine Street had an early morning wake-up call Friday in the form of a Doorbell Ditch when someone rang the home’s doorbell at 2:15 a.m. and ran away. Police responded to the complaint and checked the area, but didn’t find the surreptitious ringer.

While a Doorbell Ditch, also known as a Ding Dong Ditch, Knock, Knock Ginger, or Ring and Run, is an age-old childhood (or childish) neighborhood prank,  we don’t recommend it.  In addition to being just plain rude, doorbell ditching, is illegal in most places, and sometimes can even be dangerous.  


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