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July 30, 2005


just looking

Before we just say that someone made a bad decision late at night, todays Daily Journal police report also lists incidents of a stolen laptop, stolen diamond ring from the Avenue at 2:05 pm, vandalism at OLA and the safe at Kuletos restaurant being stolen with $10,000 in it. Busy few days.

Can we still say someone made a bad decision late a night? Who hitchhikes anymore? The only good to come out of this is educational.


Over and above Alice's sad death a few years ago, the crime in Burlingame seems to be going beyond thefts over automobiles and bikes and into far more serious incidents which include guns.

Have seen our well respected police driving around Washington Park more just recently. Hope they are doing the same with the rest of the town.

Are the criminals local residents or visitors?
How many neighborhood watch programs are in existence? Do they work? And why is the crime getting more serious?


Wow, Jen! By saying someone made a bad decision late a[t] night? your are essentially saying, she was asking for it.? That's disgusting. Who are you to judge this woman? Did it ever occur to you that maybe her car is being repaired? Maybe it had been recently stolen? Maybe she doesn't own a car? I don't even have a driver's license and I'm a 32 year-old homeowner. SamTrans stops running well before 3:40am and I know the last northbound CalTrain arrives in San Francisco at about midnight. I've tried hitch-hiking a number of times on the El Camino (never with any luck). Taxi's suck on the Peninsula; it's like they're all based out of Cleveland considering how long it takes them to get to you.

I invited my boss, a woman, to join me at an event in San Francisco recently and insisted we take BART from Millbrae (we took the CalTrain from Burlingame). I knew we would both be drinking and the legal B.A.C. for driving is under 0.08 (which is under two drinks). We did manage to catch the last BART train to leave San Francisco that night, but we waited almost 40 minutes from the time I called for a taxi to show up at the Millbrae station. I would have just started walking, were I alone, but I waited with her. Call it sexist or chivalrous, I don't care. My point is that public transport does not exist on the Peninsula for those of us that enjoy staying out late at night. I've taken many a $65 cab ride from San Francisco not because I was drinking, but because there is no other way for me to get home within a reasonable about of time. This young woman who was attacked may not have been able to afford a taxi. Do you still think that this was a good learning experience?

By 'learning experience', I mean for others. I think people forget how dangerous hitch hiking really is, and what can (still) happen. For women in particular, it is really not a good idea. Personally, if I were in a situation where my car broke down or was being repaired, I don't think I'd be out that late, or I'd first find an alternate before making plans. I'd call the police for help, before hitchhiking, or wait the extra couple of hours in an all night store or restaurant, until there was more activity around or the system started up again. I don't mean to be harsh, certainly nobody deserves to be taken advantage of. But the truth is that there are scumbags all over, at all hours. You are fortunate that nothing has happened to you,

Also, I agree with Jim on the crime around here, (not including the hitch hiker.) The bank and jewelry robbers have been quite active for the past few years. I thought it was related to the bad economy, but now I really think it has to do with people's declining morals, taking advantage of anything that presents itself in order to propell oneself further. I'd like to think that most criminals aren't from around here, but I'm not even sure of that, anymore.

I think Jen was right in the learning experience part for our family because it was a chance for us to remind our teenagers that if they are stuck somewhere alone they can always call us even very late at night.

Hope the young lady will recover soon.


I know I'm fortunate (in many ways), but I simply refuse to live in fear. The character of Mame Dennis (Rosalind Russell) in Auntie Mame said it best, Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starvin' to death!? My take on that is that all of life's fruits (experiences) are right in front of our noses and free for the taking. However, most people are afraid, for whatever reason, to reach out and grab at it. Being stuck in Redwood City at 3am is an experience and not a bad one at that. After some serious thought I realized that I did successfully hitch-hike once from San Francisco back home and it was just a few years ago (it was also such a non-event that I almost forgot it entirely). The point is, I wasn't afraid to do something even though it involved a modicum of risk. Hitch-hiking is really not as dangerous as some would have you believe; unless you honestly believe that the majority of people driving on the roads in this country are really wanna-be rapists?

Since I've stopped driving I tend to find myself in interesting situations more and more often. I've also met a lot of people that I never would have if I was still racing around in my fancy car. Yes, this young lady had something of a miss-adventure. I think the wrong reaction (although it's certainly the typical American over-reaction) is to shun hitch-hiking all together.


Good grief, Fiona. Do you mean to say it takes an attempted rape in Burlingame to remind you to remind your kids that they can call you at any hour? Or are you taking the really-low road and saying, If you don't call home, this could happen to you??

Oh Sean (or Fred) what an assinine thing to say. Go back to polishing cars!

When I was a lot younger, and did not have kids, I took far more risks with getting into situations that were potentially dangerous (though I never would have considered hitch-hiking). Part of it was simply being naive and thinking nothing could ever happen to me. Then a friend of mine was assaulted, walking home from the subway at night. A hot summer evening, all the windows were opened and nobody came to her aid. That was just too close to ignore.


Jen, I think we all (by definition) share a certain amount of naivet in our youth. While I am, of course, sorry that your friend was assaulted, I think the lesson is to be aware of your surrounding and as prepared as one can be to protect oneself. Fear is both powerful and very dangerous; it can lead to extremely irrational behavior. What do you do differently as a result of your friend's unfortunate incident?


I am not leaving any messages under Sean or any other name, I quit talking here because you people are not interested in discussion just pushing your ridiculous agendas and candidates.

Sean, I'd say what I now do differently is to avoid deserted streets at night, even if there are residences around. I never used to think twice about it. But now with time I've learned that most people don't like to get involved, even if they hear someone in distress. I hope that in Burlingame, there is enough of a community feel that people feel shared responsiblity for things that happen here.


We always think that Burlingame is safer than most towns but perhaps we are wrong. Whether we talk to our children every day or every two days about the dangers of living in this land of the free.


Jen, I suspect you are more right than I would like to admit about people not wanting to get involved (so much for United We Stand?). Thank you for sharing with me.

No problem, Sean, I always enjoy sharing with you! And Fred (2), you are right about how we think that our town is safer than most. It is always a blow when something horrible happens here, as it has lately (more than any of us would like to admit.) When "outsiders" remark with surprise (glee?) about this or that criminal incident having taken place here, I get very defensive of this place, but maybe that's wrong, too! It is like any reputation. It takes a long time to lose it, but once its gone, it is very difficult to build that up again.

bill jones

Folks, please. There are no borders in these parts. Burlingame, Millbrae, San Mateo, San Mateo Park, Foster City, whatever. It's all the same thing. We have serious ethnic gang problems, registered sex offenders by the bushel, creeps, oddballs, violent offenders, career criminals, etc. The home prices may be off the charts, but urban problems persist. It's not 1955.


Guys....wakeup and smell the roses. This town has just begun to see the crime of a major city. It is obvious based on loads of homeless taking over the Safeway, Broadway, Burlingame, Ave areas day and night.

When you stop to notice their activiites they seem to really be interested in the litle kids playing. Just park your car a little ways away from them and watch them and see if they aren't very suspicious looking.

This town looks just like Market Street area in SF. When you look around there are no police doing anything about it. They are toothless tigers.

We have called them out on numerous drug, noise, issues and they just stare into the sky shaking their heads. Nothing gets done. We don't even call them anymore. It has become a joke.

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