Police Investigate Burglary of Occupied Home; Property Recovered

Published on September 22, 2022

Palo Alto, CA Police are investigating an overnight burglary of an occupied home, where the stolen property was recovered several hours later abandoned a block away.

On Wednesday, September 21, 2022, at about 8:59 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call reporting a residential burglary that had occurred overnight at a condo in the 700 block of University Avenue.

The investigation revealed that the victim, a man in his forties, had gone to bed around midnight.  When he awoke around 8 a.m., he noticed that several pieces of property (to include a laptop computer, AirPods, a non-recording interior surveillance camera, and a car key) were missing from his home.  Most of the items had been on a desk next to a sliding glass door and would have been visible to anyone from a common area outside the residence.  The victim found the sliding glass door unlocked and believes he may not have locked it before going to bed.  The victim has no suspect information.

At about 5:22 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of property that a resident had found in the side yard of their home in the 700 block of Hamilton Avenue, about a block south of the burglary.  The resident found the victim’s missing laptop, AirPods, and surveillance camera wrapped in a cloth.  There were also two flashlights and burglary tools found nearby, that officers are now processing for evidence.  The car key remains missing.

Police believe it is possible the unknown suspect may have been casing other homes to burglarize and stashed the stolen items and burglary tools while planning to return later.  Police have no evidence at this time connecting this crime to the residential burglary from the 600 block of Lowell Avenue described in the news release we distributed on Tuesday.

Residential burglaries of occupied homes are rare in Palo Alto.  Most residential burglars commit their crimes during the day, when homes are more likely to be unoccupied and the chance of a confrontation with a resident are correspondingly reduced.  If you have a side yard gate, police recommend putting a lock on it to prevent easy unauthorized access to your property.  Police also recommend securing all windows and doors overnight.  If you choose to hide a key outside your residence in the event you ever get locked out, recognize that involves a potential risk; as an alternative, consider leaving a spare house key with a trusted neighbor.  For more crime prevention tips to help you stay safe, visit our Crime Prevention Tips page.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.

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