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Suspicious Activity

If there’s something suspicious happening in the neighborhood that you feel needs mentioning do so here to let us know. 



1. David S. - March 1, 2008

A recent posting (see the original on the About page) from Steve R.

Today (Friday 2/29, 4 PM) we noticed some suspicious activity in the West Pasadena neighborhood around California, Grand, California Terrace, and La Loma. We spotted a man (caucasion, 6 ft, black baseball cap, short reddish beard, tan, blue jeans, and a T-shirt which read “one Love” on the back) carrying a black duffle bag that appeared quite full. The man caught our attention because he was moving rapidly and erratically carrying this medium size black duffle bag and ducking in and out of properties in this area. We noticed him enter and exit several properties at the Southwest corner of California and Grand a few times. He was constantly moving and changing directions up and down the blocks mentioned. He also was periodically looking over his shoulder to make sure no one saw him. Actually, this strange behavior led us to notice him. We notified the Pasadena Police Department of this individual.

We do not know if the Police ever located him, but we do know that a half hour later we saw him again at the corner of California and Pasadena. He was now wearing a black sweatshirt. He walked into the Vons parking lot where he sat at the table out front and smoked a cigarette. He was wearing wrap around sunglasses at this point. He did not look “homeless” and harmless like some other individuals we sometimes see, rather he appeared to be on some sort of mission up to no good.

What was interesting to us is that there were so many people out enjoying the nice weather, but it did not seem anyone else really focused on him and his strange behavior. There were kids playing football, an alarm company ADT on Grand working on a project, joggers, etc, but no one seemed to turn their attention to him. Thus, we encourage all of our neighbors to be vigilant and look out for one another as they go about their days. Better to be overly vigilant and possibly mistaken then regret not reporting or acting later. Help your neighbors and they will help you!

2. Ted - March 2, 2008

It doesn’t hurt to call the police again. When you saw the man again sitting at Von’s the ploice may have lost track of him!

3. David S. - March 5, 2008

From Ali;

Dear Neighbors- I live on South Grand Avenue between Palmetto and Locke Haven and I just got a ring at the door bell which I responded to and believe to be very suspicious. First of all, my house is behind gates and normally, solicitors will ring the bell at the gate before proceeding up the driveway. These 2 solicitors were very savy and walked up my neighbors driveway which does not have a gate and came through my side driveway which is accessed through the neighbors. These 2 young ladies were at my front door and spoke through the glass. They had a rehearsed speech which they both presented to me about being single mothers from the inner city and wanting to set good examples for their children by earning points by selling magazines. I then told them that I was not interested in buying any magazines and then they proceeded to present a different speech about giving them a donation or buying magazines for charitable causes. I became more suspicious and then asked them for a seller’s permit or documentation from the city showing that they were permitted to sell door to door. They acted very surprised and said that they have been in my neighborhood for 2 straight days selling magazines and that all my neighbors have been very supportive. I asked them to show me who they have sold to and they showed me a list of handwritten names without addresses and looked like fake signatures. I noticed there were no addresses or magazine orders on the list they showed me. It was clearly a bogus list. They asked me if I knew a Janice Glidden and I said no, and they said she gave them a donation and lived a few blocks away. Anyways, they were very, very persistent and would not go away. I am glad that I never opened the door, because they would not leave. Finally, I told them I would not buy anything or give them a donation unless they showed me a permit from the city and they said they did not have one and left. They left my door at 1:50pm and I immediately called the non emergency police number and notified them of the activity. The dispatched told me that they would send someone out right away since the solicitors did not have a permit to sell. So please remember to always ask for the permit, and if they don’t have one call the police non emergency number.

4. Steve R. - March 6, 2008


It looks like perhaps a scheme to either create a distraction while someone else tries to enter the property from a different location (say around back) or to lure you out and have someone forcefully enter the house. It could also be a case for someone to look in scout things out for later, such as to see if there is an alarm system, etc. We had a similar experience at our place where some gentlemen fiercely knocked on the door and spoke in Spanish. However, they delibrately spoke awkwardly and confusingly to a native Spanish speaker at our home in order to try and lure us out. Fortunately, we did not fall for it and no one else should either. If you are not comfortable don’t open the door.

Great idea in calling the non-emergency police number and asking for ID and a permit! I’ll use that next time too!

5. David S. - March 7, 2008

Via Alix R. and the Neighborhood Watch Email List:

Dear Neighbors,
The following was sent to me by a neighbor:

I live on lower Bradford St. This morning there was a man walking up from the west end criss crossing the street looking up driveways and into front yards ( it was apparent he was not on a morning walk or jog). He was not at all friendly as most people taking walks,jogs in our neighborhood. He then jumped into a old model beige open bed truck close to the corner of Bradford and Grand and drove back the way he had walked then parked his truck again at the west end of Bradford. He jumped out his car went over and picked up 2 white sealed trash bags next to a neighbors trash can.( one would not be able to determine if it was just recycling stuff).

In addition, we noticed there were 2 children’s bikes in the bed of his truck as well. ( did he pick those up left in driveways, sidewalks after people have taken their children to school?)

Also, the gardner from across the street said all his equipment was stolen out of his truck last Thursday on Bradford. Everything was locked up with a chain but a crow bar was used to steal everthing. He was disgusted. He said it was around $1000 worth of stuff.

6. caltechgirl - March 13, 2008

Hi all,
I’m not a member of the list, but I do read the blog, and I think this is a terrific idea.

I live near los robles and woodbury, and this morning someone vandalized my yard in what we think was an attempt to break into our house or car.

We have solar lights in the front yard that look like metal, but are made of silver plastic. One of these was ripped from the ground and the lamp was broken off. Both pieces were discarded and the vandal then broke off our PVC standpipe which had the brass faucet for our hose attached to it. Evidently the water shooting out of the pipe scared him off because we found a fountain of water and the pieces of pipe and solar light on the driveway this morning.

Please make sure you leave everything that could be a weapon of opportunity locked up, as it appears there are folks out there who will do anything to obtain one.

7. Barbara E. - September 29, 2008

The Vote Obama signs on one side of California Boulevard between Grand and Arroyo Boulevard keep getting vandalized. It’s happened twice now, each time on Saturday night. The first time, my sign and that of my neighbor was thrown into my hedge. This past Saturday, the plastic was ripped off the metal stands and thrown onto the sidewalk. I don’t suppose this is a crime, but as the signs cost $5 a piece, it’s very annoying. I hope everyone will keep an eye open for the vandal/s. I expect they’re walking home after drinking in Old Pasadena.

8. Alberto - December 17, 2008

My neighbor just had her car stolen from the San Pasqual Apartments garage, corner of South Mentor and San Pasqual. It probably happened Sunday night 12/14/08 or the following Monday morning. Police were made aware of the situation. The vandals broke into her husband’s car that was parked in tandem with hers. They gained access to spare keys to the stolen car which were stored in her husband’s car. The vandals drove off in her car with no problems. They took the garage entry remotes from both cars. The building’s manager was made aware of this and they are in the process of reprogramming all of the apartment remotes. Apparently this was not the only car broken into in the area recently.

Please be careful and make sure your cars are locked and secure at night. Report any suspicious people and/or events to the police.

9. Steve Richards - January 17, 2009


Keep up the great work on the site. Is there any way on the suspicious activity page to alter it so that the most recent posts appear at the top like on the general weblog page? Just a suggestion.

Steve. R.

10. David S. - April 1, 2009

Sent from a neighbor:
  “I received a report today of young men soliciting in our neighborhood, ostensibly selling magazines.  When one neighbor spoke to them, they claimed they collected extra bonuses by gathering such information as “do you have a husband” and “was he in the military.”  The police were called to report the incident.   

     Being the neighborhood paranoid, I interpret such questions to be code for “when we come back, is there someone here that can challenge us, and does he have a gun,” but that is just me.  The police advice consistently has been to not open your door to people you do not know, and remember that unless a solicitor is holding up a permit, he does not have a legal right in Pasadena to be approaching your door to sell something.    Remember, we don’t have to respond to every door knock or to answer questions from unknown people.”

11. David S. - April 1, 2009

Received this at 4:10 this afternoon from a neighbor on Fairlawn Way. He did not go all the way up our private road as my husband was home and he did not go the additional two houses up the hill to our house: A guy just left our home asking if we wanted to “replace our windows.” I have alerted the PPD. He is driving a silver Scion and is about 6 1, reddish hair, green shirt, tan pants and boots.

12. David S. - April 1, 2009

This was sent by a neighbor:

My friend on Wigmore Drive, whose garage is in Barkley alley, said her garage door was someone “opened” on Saturday night and both cars were “rifled”. The glove departments were found open in both cars. The only things missing were three Flower Mart badges. They close their garage door every night without fail and they are wondering whether some one else’s remote could have opened the door by mistake. I am letting you know as her computer is on the fritz.

13. David S. - April 1, 2009

Great advice from a neighbor:

… A few years ago, I had an “invisible” garage break-in as well. I have an automatic garage door opener, and I always close the door immediately after leaving the detached garage. At the time of this incident, the garage door was closed, and when I entered one morning I found the driver door open and many things taken from the car itself as well as the trunk. It turned out that burglars with special equipment could capture the electronic code and use it to open the door, just as though they had my device that is clipped to the visor (which, incidentally, is one of things they stole). The police taught me about this scam, as well as the fact that my garage door installer had equipment I could purchase which would block the burglar’s clever and evil device. I had it installed immediately. There was good news at the end of this story: I found a very clear fingerprint on the front passenger window, and it was in the system. In about a month, the police had the repeater in custody, SHE came to trial and spent 18 months in jail. The lady on Wigmore may want to check with her installer to see whether the device would be helpful.

14. David S. - April 1, 2009

On Friday, 3/27/09, a neighbor wrote:

Just received info … that there was a car break in at 61 San Miguel Rd. Change was taken. Keep your cars locked at all times.

And another note:

Last week we had an almost break in at 4:AM in the morning. I live on … San Miguel and the police came to our door. Our neighbors saw two men in our driveway, they actually broke in but they didn’t take anything. Our neighbors said that one of the men was walking down San Miguel carrying a bag, the other was attempting the theft in our car.

15. David S. - April 2, 2009

From a Neighbor on 4/1/09:

On a different note, I also had 2 boys at my door today. They were caucasian, one blondish one brown hair, wearing shorts and collared short sleeve shirts, they knocked around 4 or so and said they were trying to get to know their neighbors.

I asked them where they lived, they said a few blocks over, I asked them their address and they faked one. I told them it was a fake and that I was going to go call the police immediately. I told them we had a tremendous neighborhood watch and we were on the lookout for people like them. I immediately called the police, went to the window, opened it, and they looked up, I made them know I was on the phone with them. The police said they would come by.
Thats it for my fun today!!! Yikes, what is this, getting to know their neighbors?????

Very odd…but it sounds like they were differnet than the others…i winder if they are looking for unoccupied houses to rob? And then they call their friends? This is the 3rd set of these I have had in the last year. And I have never had it before. In 15 years here. I just don’t get it.

16. Mike - June 1, 2009

Next time tell them to please wait a minute, then close the door and call the police out of earshot. Either that, or act dumb and call as soon as they leave. That way these swine won’t be scared off before the cops arrive.

17. David S. - July 6, 2009

From a neighbor:

Several cars in our condominium garage at 700 South Lake were vandalized at 4am this morning. Four individuals (three men and one woman) climbed a front gate and wandered through our garage, vandalizing five vehicles at both ends of a very large garage. Windows were broken to gain access to vehicles and property was stolen, though motivation seemed to be random damage. This took place between 4:10 am and 4:40 am on July 5.

We were told by the Pasadena Police Department that 12 vehicles in the garage at 1000 East California (corner of Catalina) were also vandalized just prior to the incidents in our garage. Apparently a resident was able to provide a description of the vandals. That description matched the images that were taken from our on-site security cameras. We hope these images will assist the PPD in making some arrests.

You may want to post a security alert for the information of your residents. People should be alert to their surroundings and should make sure there is nothing of value inside their vehicles in the garage. Above all, residents should never leave garage remotes (clickers) inside their cars.

18. David S. - July 7, 2009

Another incident:

When: Monday July 6 at approx.1:45 PM

Where: 600 block of Bradford Street (near Arroyo Blvd.)

Gardener’s equipment was stolen off a trailer by a man (or men) and loaded into a small red truck (nissan/toyota) – luckily a neighbor’s housekeeper yelled and scared them but total loss is approx. $1300. Equipment is owned by a teen who does gardening – he’s worked really hard to buy all his own equipment. He was operating a leaf blower nearby so didn’t hear them in the street as they quickly grabbed items in front of his house.

The police came and took a report.

19. Fred Hammer - October 7, 2009

I live near E. Orange Grove and Sierra Bonita. I got this email today from my neighbor:

I caught someone casing your house this morning and trying to steal your newspaper. I literally caught him red-handed as he picked up the paper. Latino man, mid to late 20’s. My son actually noticed the man, who parked his truck around the corner and looked somewhat furtive. My son asked what he was doing so I watched as he got out of the truck, walked up and down the sidewalk while looking at your house, and then he grabbed the paper. I ran out and yelled at him, at which point he dropped the paper and walked down the street. He didn’t know I’d seen him get out of the truck, so I waited for him to come back, which he eventually did. I told him I got his plates and if he was ever seen here again we would prosecute him. He was fairly docile and agreed not to come back.

Red Chevy Tahoe, probably 2007 or so. License plate GBMP233. Keep a look out for him.

20. S.B. - January 16, 2010

Dear neighbors,

I live on N Bonnie Ave. between Colorado and Walnut. I received solicitors at my door on both Friday and Saturday evenings; on Friday a woman was soliciting magazine subscriptions, and on Saturday a gentlemen was collecting recyclables. Neither were pushy or exhibited questionable behavior; I simply want to mention it in case anyone notices suspicious activity.

Thank you and be safe.

21. Steve Richards - May 22, 2010

Can this page be shown so that the newest postings appear first? That way the log shows the most recent stuff at the top instead of having to scan down. This simple change may make it more useful. Just a thought for a blogger who is doing a great job and providing a terrific service to the community, keep up the great work man!

David S. - May 25, 2010


I agree. It would be better if the comments were stacked earliest to latest instead of vice versa. But WordPress (the free blogging setup PNWW uses) isn’t, as far as I know, capable of doing this.

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