The City of Palo Alto
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE 03252014
Interrupted Burglary Leads to Hours-Long Containment, But No Arrests
Zach Perron, Lieutenant, Police Department 650-329-2413
Alto, CA -- A resident returning home from
running errands interrupted a residential burglary at her house, leading police
to surround her home for five hours before SWAT officers entered and determined
the suspects had escaped.|
Monday, March 24, 2014, at about 6:26 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center
received a 9-1-1 call from a resident
in the 800 block of Ames Avenue reporting a residential burglary. The victim, a woman in her thirties, had
returned home with her baby and another adult relative when she noticed that
the rear door to her house had been forced open. She immediately had the three of them exit the
home, and she then called 9-1-1. While
she was outside on the phone with the public safety dispatcher, she heard the
sound of a door slamming inside her home.
Once officers arrived on scene a short time later, the victim used her
smart phone to access what she believed to be live video surveillance footage
inside the home. Together, she and the
officers observed two unknown suspects in a bedroom. As they watched, the video cut off,
apparently as a result of one of the suspects disconnecting the power supply to
the surveillance system.
officers responded to the scene and helped to surround the home. Patrol officers made repeated calls inside
the residence using a public address system in an effort to have any suspects inside
exit on their own accord. Officers used police
canines to do a limited search of the lower level of the home where it was safe
for the dogs to deploy. Eventually,
after receiving no response from inside, at about 9:30 p.m. we summoned our
Crisis Negotiation Team and our Special Weapons & Tactics (SWAT) Team to
the scene. These teams are specially
trained to enter areas where suspects may be barricaded to order to safely
resolve the situation.
about 11:28 p.m., after entering the home and searching it thoroughly, SWAT
officers and canine units determined that the suspects were no longer inside. SWAT officers continued to search nearby
yards and hiding places, and eventually declared the entire scene clear at
about 11:45 p.m. Police later determined
that the video they had viewed had actually not been live as originally
thought, such that there was a small window of time prior to police arrival during
which the suspects escaped.
ensuing investigation revealed that the suspects had broken into the home at
some point between 5:45 p.m. and 6:25 p.m. by forcing open a rear door, after
accessing the backyard from an unlocked side yard gate. The suspects ransacked portions of the home,
and stacked several valuable items near an exit door. At this time, the property actually stolen
remains unknown. Typically, residential
burglars steal jewelry, cash, and small personal electronic devices like
laptops, tablet computers, and digital cameras.
captured on the video surveillance footage, the two known suspects are black
males who appear to be in their mid-twenties.
They were wearing all black clothing. No additional description is available. We cannot rule out the possibility that
additional suspects were involved. If
the video itself or still images are of sufficient quality to possibly identify
the suspects, we will release them separately in the near future. Detectives are actively investigating this
addition to a police canine team from our Department, we also used one canine
team from the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety. Two deputies from the Stanford Department of
Public Safety helped us with the perimeter containment as well.
Palo Alto Police Department used the AlertSCC telephone notification system to
notify residents in an approximate one-block radius surrounding the house,
asking them to remain inside with their doors locked out of an abundance of
caution. In total, 93 homes received
this notification, as well as a follow-up call once the situation was safely
resolved. Additionally, we utilized our Twitter
@PaloAltoPolice) to provide real-time updates to the incident, and also posted
notifications on Facebook (www.facebook.com/PaloAltoPolice),
Nextdoor (www.nextdoor.com), and Nixle (www.nixle.com). Links to all of our social media sites can be
found at www.cityofpaloalto.org/PAPDconnect.
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 email@example.com
or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.