News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Neighbor’s Call Leads to Arrest of Bike Thieves; Drugs, Stun Gun Found
Contact : Zach Perron, Lieutenant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Deborah Alley Gerkin booking photoRoberto Solorzano-Rodriguez booking photo
Palo Alto, CA -- An alert neighbor who witnessed a bike theft made a timely call to police and provided a license plate, enabling officers to stop the two suspects nearby.  Police recovered two stolen bicycles and located narcotics, a stun gun, and a bag of burglary tools in the suspect vehicle.  Police booked both suspects for an array of charges.

On Sunday, December 22, 2013, at about 10:23 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a bike theft in progress from the carport of a residence in the 2300 block of Wellesley Street.  The reporting party said they had observed a male suspect and female suspect take a bicycle from inside the carport and put it on the roof of their SUV.  The bicycle had been locked to itself, but not to a stationary object.  The reporting party said there was also a second bicycle already on the roof of the SUV.  The reporting party obtained the license plate number of the SUV, a white 1999 GMC Jimmy, and provided that to dispatchers as officers responded to the area.

At about 10:26 a.m., a patrol officer located the vehicle unoccupied in the parking lot of the Jack in the Box restaurant at 2280 El Camino Real.  There were no bicycles on the roof of the SUV at that time.  The officer located the female suspect coming out of a Jack in the Box restroom and detained her for investigation.  

At about 10:31 a.m., another patrol officer located the male suspect with two bicycles in the 500 block of College Avenue, and detained him for investigation.  One bicycle was the one just stolen from the 2300 block of Wellesley Street, and the other was later determined to have been stolen that same morning from a locked shed behind a home in the 2000 block of Yale Street.  Officers were able to return both bicycles to their lawful owners.

The ensuing investigation revealed that both suspects showed signs of being under the influence of narcotics.  Additionally, within the SUV, officers located crystal methamphetamine, a stun gun, and a bag of burglary tools.

Police arrested 46-year-old Deborah Alley Gerkin and 37-year-old Roberto Solorzano-Rodriguez, both of San Jose, and booked them both for two counts of felony burglary, one count of felony narcotics possession for sales, one count of felony conspiracy, illegal possession of a stun gun (a misdemeanor), possession of burglary tools (a misdemeanor), and for being under the influence of narcotics (a misdemeanor).  Additionally, police booked Gerkin for transporting narcotics (a felony), and Solorzano-Rodriguez for possession of drug paraphernalia (a misdemeanor).  Booking photos of both suspects are attached to this release.

Officers recommend always locking your bicycle to a stationary object, and not just a wheel to the frame.  Residents are encouraged to call the police immediately to report suspicious behavior, as the reporting party did in this case.  The timely notification to police, plus the reporting party's quick-thinking to note the license plate of the suspect vehicle, was a major help to this investigation.

Anyone who may have information about these incidents or suspects is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.