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


Subject :

Overnight Alarm Leads to Arrests for Commercial Burglary
Contact : Kara Apple, Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Welch (left) and Goucher (right) booking photos
Palo Alto, CA -- Officers responding to an alarm in the middle of the night at a closed grocery store last week found one suspect inside, and located an accomplice nearby.  Police booked both suspects into jail for commercial burglary and conspiracy.

On Thursday, February 20, 2014, at about 2:02 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a burglary alarm at The Fresh Market at 2170 West Bayshore Road.  The market was closed at the time.  Officers arrived on scene about two minutes later, and found a second-floor door at the top of an exterior staircase unlocked.  The officers opened the door, identified themselves as police and shouted several times into the business for anyone inside to come out.  A short time later, a man identified as 52-year-old J. Robyn Welch of San Pablo emerged from the interior of the business and cooperated with the officers, who detained him for investigation. 

Other officers in the area located the suspect's vehicle, a white 1997 Ford F-350 pick-up truck with an attached trailer, parked on the northbound Highway 101 off-ramp to Embarcadero Road.  Officers found 57-year-old James Carlson Goucher of Vallejo inside the vehicle, and detained him for investigation as well.

After the ensuing investigation, police placed both men under arrest for burglary and conspiracy.  Officers also located methamphetamine in the possession of the second man.

There were no market employees inside the business at the time of this incident.  There were no signs of forced entry to the building.  Police believe the second-floor door had been accidentally left unlocked, and that was how the primary suspect gained entry to the building.  There was no indication that either suspect had stolen anything from the market.

Police booked Welch and Goucher into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for one count of commercial burglary and one count of conspiracy.  Both are felonies.  Additionally, Goucher had a single count of felony possession of narcotics.  Booking photos of both suspects are attached to this release.

Detectives are investigating to see if the suspects may be involved with any additional burglaries, either in Palo Alto or surrounding communities.  Anyone with information about these suspects or this incident 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.