Mountain View Voice

News - February 14, 2014

Crime briefs

Sex-with-minor sting

Mountain View police have arrested a former San Francisco teacher after he allegedly attempted to arrange to meet with a minor for sex.

Harlan Edelman, a 52-year-old San Francisco resident, allegedly contacted, unsolicited, a Mountain View Police Department detective who was posing as a 17-year-old male on a social network, Sgt. Saul Jaeger said today.

During the subsequent investigation, Edelman allegedly sent sexually explicit material to the detective and arranged to meet with him in Mountain View, Jaeger said.

San Francisco Unified School District officials said Edelman taught with the district from 1995 to 2013, most recently at the Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has also taught at Lowell High School, Lincoln High School and the School of the Arts.

However, he has not been a district employee since his resignation in September 2013, according to district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe.

Blythe noted that the district conducts full background checks on all employees before they work with students, and if Edelman had been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor prior to or during his employment, the district "would take appropriate action based on that information."

"There is nothing in Mr. Edelman's employment record indicating that there would be cause for concern," Blythe said.

There is also no reason to believe Edelman's arrest is in any way related to his work in San Francisco, Blythe said.

Police said they did not have any evidence that Edelman had contacted any other minors, but publicized the arrest in part because they hope to locate any other victims.

"As with any crime, it's usually never their first time," Jaeger said. "Especially since this guy is targeting juveniles, if he's truly a predator then there's probably going to be other victims."

—Bay City News Service

Police search for suspect

Mountain View police were searching for a suspect who fled after officers arrested two people occupying a stolen car early Friday morning.

At about 4 a.m. Feb. 7, officers attempted to stop three people inside a reportedly stolen car in a suburban area south of Middlefield Road near Theuerkauf Elementary School, police said.

Officers arrested two people in the car, but a third escaped and prompted police to set up a perimeter bordered by San Pierre Way, Vaquero Drive, San Ramon Avenue and San Domar Drive. Police did not order a lockdown at the school and cleared the perimeter at about 9 a.m. after not finding the suspect.

The suspect was described as being white, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, with a medium build and shoulder-length brown hair. He wore dark clothing and was carrying a backpack, police said.

—Bay City News Service

Car arson suspects arrested

Investigators believe a Los Altos man set his car on fire at a Mountain View auto repair shop last month with the intent of fooling insurers.

On Jan. 24, Mountain View Police Department officers arrested 28-year-old Paul Schonhardt, along with a suspected accomplice, in connection with the fire, which destroyed three cars at Pedro's Auto Clinic, located at 1080 Terra Bella Ave.

The fire, which was first reported at 3:28 a.m. on Jan. 13, was immediately deemed suspicious according Jaime Garrett, public information officer for the Mountain View Fire Department. Parked cars "don't typically self-combust," Garrett told the Voice later that day.

Arson investigators with the fire department and police detectives worked together on the case, finding a gas can under Schonhardt's car and determining that his vehicle was the origin of the blaze, according to Sgt. Saul Jaeger, public information officer with the police department.

That led investigators to focus on Schonhardt, Jaeger said. Schonhardt had been paid by his insurance company to pay the shop for repairs to his car, Jaeger said, but "instead of paying the shop, he commited insurance fraud by lighting the car on fire."

Police also arrested Angelina Rutlege of San Jose, Jaeger said. She did not directly particpate in the arson, but she is believed to have driven Schonhardt to and from the autoshop on the morning of the fire.

Both were booked into San Jose's Main Jail for a variety of charges, including arson and posession of controlled substances.

—Nick Veronin

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