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Street closure explanation


A week and a half ago, I came home to find my block cordoned off by the police.

I kept expecting that info about this would show up on various places online, but as of last Thursday, I didn't see any references to it anywhere.

I finally called the police on Thursday. The officer who answered the phone had no idea anything unusual had happened the previous Friday, and had a hard time finding any record of it. When she finally did find info, she told me that they couldn't release any information to the public other than that it had been a "Service, Miscellaneous" call--an astonishing euphemism for a seven-hour block closure allegedly involving a SWAT team--and that it had been in my block. I asked when they might be able to release more information; she repeated what she'd already told me.

I decided to drop a note to the Mountain View Voice and see if they knew anything about it; it seemed unlikely, but figured it couldn't hurt.

And it turned out that they did know what had happened; they sent me info that has now appeared online in a brief item titled "Mt. View resident, wanted for bank robbing spree, turns himself in."

Turns out the police thought that a suspected bank robber had barricaded himself in his home. After seven or eight hours of police presence, they apparently figured out that he wasn't actually home, and they left. The suspect later turned himself in.

(On a side note, when I was trying to find out more about this last Thursday, after hearing from the Voice, I did some web searches for bank robberies in the Bay Area; I was surprised at how frequent they are. I think of bank robberies as extremely rare. It also turns out that the Mountain View police offer bank robbery training, explaining how to rob a bank deal with a bank robbery; among other things, they do a robbery simulation for bank employees after hours. I wonder if good roleplayers and gamemasters can get jobs running this kind of simulation.)

It also turns out that the officer who told me that they'd evacuated the neighborhood and weren't letting anyone in or out was wrong. One of my neighbors was home through the whole thing, and another parked a block away and walked home via the other end of the street. I'm pretty annoyed that (a) the police didn't tell me that was an option when I told them I wanted to go home, and (b) I didn't try it regardless; my evening would have been much better if I could've gone home.

Anyway. Not the local police department's finest hour. If nothing else, I'm irked with them for not being willing to give me any information ("Service, Miscellaneous"???), even though an article about it was about to appear in the newspaper. I can imagine various reasonable reasons and scenarios for that, but it bugs me nonetheless.


I can imagine various reasonable reasons and scenarios for that, but it bugs me nonetheless.

Unfortunately the first reason that comes to mind for me is OMGCYA! CYA!

The first rule of security: Don't talk about security.


According to this press release from the FBI, in 1992, there were over 2,600 bank robberies in the seven Southern California counties served by the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office. The annual count is way down, but is still in excess of one per day. As the economy worsens, look for this figure to increase.

PS to Michael: I am glad I clicked on your link! There is a big framed royal red poster in our office that says "Keep Calm and Carry On." I just assumed it was our general counsel's counter to the crisis de jour; I never knew the great backstory that was mentioned in your link.

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