The City of Palo Alto
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE 0122201402
Stolen iPad Leads Police to Arrests in Commercial Burglary Case
Zach Perron, Lieutenant, Police 650-329-2413
Alto, CA -- Two suspects who had burglarized a
business overnight and stolen thousands of dollars of electronics were arrested
by police, who were led directly to them by GPS tracking software installed on
one of the stolen devices.|
Wednesday, January 8, 2014, at about 9:48 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center
received a call from personnel at the AT&T Foundry at 260 Homer Avenue
reporting that a commercial burglary had occurred overnight while the business
was closed. Patrol officers responded
and were able to determine that an unknown suspect or suspects had forced entry
to the business by using a pry tool on one of the doors. Personnel at the business reported that 15
cell phones, three laptop computers, an iPad, and other electronic items had
been stolen, with a total approximate value of $14,000.
officers were still on scene, a company employee used the "Find My iPhone" app
and was able to see that the stolen iPad had last been located in City Parking
Lot “C-6” at the corner of Sherman Avenue at Birch Street. A patrol officer went to the parking lot and
began walking between cars on the off chance they could see any of the stolen
property in plain view inside any parked vehicles. The officer saw a parked vehicle with a man
seated in the passenger seat, and noticed that there were a large amount of
items on the rear floorboard of the vehicle that were covered with a
jacket. The officer ran a registration
check on the vehicle's license plate, and learned that it had suspended
officer watched the car from a distance.
A woman returned to the vehicle, and after several minutes passed, the
pair drove out of the parking lot. The
officer made a car stop for the registration violation shortly after 11:00 a.m.,
and during the ensuing investigation, officers located all of the stolen
property except for a single cell phone inside the vehicle. They also found a crowbar and other pry
tools. Officers arrested both suspects.
were able to determine that the vehicle, a 2001 Dodge Durango, had been stolen from
a car dealership in Vallejo at some point since November 2013. The dealership had not noticed that the
vehicle was missing until contacted by detectives.
booked Vallejo resident Tania Marin Starr and San Francisco resident Gerald
Wayne Elliott II, both 31 years of age, into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for
felony commercial burglary, felony vehicle theft, and misdemeanor possession of
burglary tools. Booking photos of both
suspects are attached to this release.
are currently investigating whether either suspect is connected to any
additional burglaries in Palo Alto or surrounding communities.
credit the “Find My iPhone” application in leading them to the suspects in this
case. We encourage people to enable such
security features in their portable electronic devices whenever possible, and
to familiarize themselves with how to use them.
If your portable electronic device is stolen or lost and you are using a
remote application to track its location, notify your local law enforcement
agency immediately and do not take independent action to attempt to recover
of portable electronic devices is, unfortunately, a very common crime. For more information about mobile electronic
device theft and steps you can take to safeguard your property and information,
watch “The Epidemic of iCrime,” a 5-minute video produced by the Santa Clara
County District Attorney’s Office in 2013.
It can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4zsZqgk5Jk.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice
mail to 650-383-8984.