Police arrest passenger in pickup truck parked alongside Hart Middle School today

Principal calls cops after 'being uncomfortable with comments' of couple about why they were there

Pleasanton police arrested a woman passenger but released the male driver after searching their pickup truck that was parked near Hart Middle School at 7:30 a.m. Monday morning as students walked by on their way to school.

Police were called after Hart Principal Steve Maher, alerted by students, became suspicious of the couple, who had parked alongside a sidewalk used by students going to school. The driver, who police found was on probation for an earlier conviction, told police he was waiting for the nearby Alameda County Superior Courthouse to open so that he could respond to a summons. Police cited the woman passenger for having a small amount of methamphetamine in her possession.

Maher, who went to investigate after students alerted him to the parked truck, said he became uncomfortable with the couple's comments about why they were there and asked the police department to check them out.

During the incident and as a precaution, Maher and other school staff directed arriving students into the school gymnasium and library. Students were allowed to go to their classes after police arrived and the pickup truck was moved.

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Posted by Jaycee
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 30, 2009 at 7:23 pm

I was wondering what was going on this a.m. as I dropped my child off at HMS. I am very proud of the way everyone handled this situation. The students, Mr. Maher, and the police. Job well done!! It's nice to know people are watching and keeping their eyes open and alert!

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Nov 30, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Nice work by the principal. Vigilance is the watch word.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 30, 2009 at 7:49 pm

It looks to me that the PPD are doing more than just hanging out at Starbucks's. So many poster's trash the police...what do you think now? hmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

Like this comment
Posted by chico
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 30, 2009 at 8:28 pm

great work PPD and Mr. Maher!

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Posted by Hart Parent
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Dec 1, 2009 at 8:19 am

Cholo, the reason the police got there so fast was they were at the nearby Starbucks when Principal Maher called them. It wasn't a case of the police being on patrol. It was the students and the administration getting the job done, then calling Starbucks and asking them to send the officers over :)

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Posted by T.H.
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 1, 2009 at 8:48 am

I know and like the Pleasanton Police but kudos are not deserved for following up on a report from a principal about a possibly dangerous situation. I would say they would deserve to be bashed if they didn't respond but this was a case of them just doing their job. Tweeker busted for being dumb, principal being a little paranoid but vigilant. Principal thought better safe than sorry call the cops. I give him credit though for approaching the vehicle on his own to try to find out what the deal was before calling PPD

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Posted by Lee
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2009 at 8:52 am

Good job students, principal and Pleasanton Police!! Keeping our kids safe should be the number one priority!!

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Posted by KC
a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 1, 2009 at 9:01 am

Let's just all agree that the principal and the cops and the students all did what they were suppose to do and commend them for being so on top of things. I called the police about a month ago because there was a van parked by Hansen Park just sitting there with a couple of men in it, and they sat there for too long. the cops came, questioned them, and made them move on.
they were solicitors and didnt end up having their 'license' to solicit with them (of course), so they had to leave. I dont care who is sitting in a car by someone's house, a park, a school, CALL THE COPS! always better safe than sorry, and you cant trust anyone these days. keep our children safe.

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Posted by Dora
a resident of Dublin
on Dec 1, 2009 at 9:16 am

Parked while black?

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Posted by colette
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 1, 2009 at 9:27 am

Dora, Dora, Dora...come on now! I don't care if they are purple, orange, white or black. Men sitting in a van by a park for a long time is a bit suspicious. Better safe than sorry! Let's get over the color thing.

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Posted by T.H.
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 1, 2009 at 10:20 am

Dora - What story are you talking about? The meth user at Hart or solicitors at Hansen? I hear meth and I assume white (my experience and prejudices showing themselves). I know this town is filled with many bigoted people but I haven't seen it in this topic or the comments that followed.

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Posted by Pleasanton Meadows parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 1, 2009 at 11:44 am

A couple years ago, I was out walking my dog and walked past a red pick up truck with a man in it parked across the street from Fairlands Elementary. Although it wasn't at a time of day when students were being dismissed, I didn't think anything of it until I made my 30 minute walk circuit and the truck was still there and the man still just sitting there.
I called the police, told them the man wasn't doing anything wrong, but I did wonder about him being parked there for so long, not reading, not on the phone, not eating...just sitting there.
The police said they would investigate and I assume they did.
The man was white.
I'll admit I am biased. If it had been a woman, I probably wouldn't have made the call.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 1, 2009 at 1:19 pm

A whole mess of people use meth & crack...they're equal opportunity drugs.

Meth results in a sexual high at about 1/8 - 1/4 gram. Maybe they were thinking about kidnapping a few children for sex. It happens you know. Or, perhaps they were dealing at the school?

Maybe they were simply waiting for somebody that was "looking"?

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Posted by True story
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 1, 2009 at 4:35 pm

I remember a while back I had cub scouts meeting at my house. One of the dads showed up early to pick up his son but decided to sit in the car and listen to a game instead of come inside and risk having to help with a bunch of second graders. ;-) Anyway, my neighbor saw him sitting there and started out to ask if he needed directions or what was up. He saw a Mexican guy walking toward him and took off, went around the block, then parked around the corner. My neighbor got suspicious and called the police who checked him out. Boy did he have a red face when all the other parents pulled up to pick up their kids and he was showing his ID to the cops! I love knowing my neighbor is watching out for us!

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Posted by EC
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Dec 4, 2009 at 2:50 pm

I still walk out and watch my 7th grader walk down the block to school just because of this very thing. I often see vans, suv, truck's sitting along Case Ave with someone just watching over at the school. I hate to be paranoid about every single person I see waiting; especially since I do the same thing until I know my child is safely at school. I've seen however, many times, cars with a single man just sitting by the field when girls soccer is practicing; that always seems weird to me. Calling the police is definately something I'll do if I notice someone just sitting; especially after school is out and it's around 3:30-4 when clubs are taking place. I'm glad that this principal was overly cautious and that students are being prepared by their parents in these situations. It really comes back to how aware we are making our kids; what we are teaching them.

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Posted by anti Dora
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 4, 2009 at 3:32 pm

cut Dora some slack -obviously not all that sharp.

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Posted by Solicitors need a license
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 7, 2009 at 4:31 pm

They could just be casing the area.
If someone comes to your house, ask to see their license.
Take their picture, then call the police. Same if you see suspicious people hanging out.

Every now and then the police will find they are thieves, and/or have a stolen car.
Bad guys are caught when people report suspicious behavior. The same bad guys do multiple crimes.

What is the law about how late they can be out?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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