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


Subject :

Police Arrest Suspect After Failed Stolen Vehicle Attempt
Contact : Marianna Villaescusa, Agent, Police Department    650-329-2413
Alex Guevara booking photo
Palo Alto, CA -- Police arrested a suspect early Saturday morning after he tried to steal a car from a driveway, repeatedly backing into another car before being confronted by a resident and fleeing.  With the help of a police dog, officers found the suspect hiding in a nearby yard, took him into custody without incident, and booked him into jail.

On Saturday, July 19, 2014, at about 6:43 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a resident in the 2500 block of Emerson Street reporting a possible in-progress auto burglary.  The caller reported that the suspect had fled on foot.  Officers responded immediately to the area and began to search for the suspect.

The investigation revealed that the victims, a couple in their fifties, had their two cars parked in front of one another in their driveway.  They heard the sound of squealing tires, and looked outside to see an unknown suspect in the driver's seat of their car (a 2000 Acura sedan) parked furthest up their driveway.  The suspect was trying to back the car out of the driveway past their other car (a 1999 BMW sedan), repeatedly striking the two cars against each other as he attempted to force his way out to the street.  One resident called the police while the other went outside to investigate.  Upon being discovered, the suspect abandoned the car in the driveway and fled on foot southbound on Emerson Street while carrying a bag.  Both vehicles sustained minor damage.  As it turned out, the Acura’s door had been left unlocked, and the suspect had found a spare key hidden inside the car.

Officers used a police dog to track the suspect through several residential yards in the 2600 block of Emerson Street, finally locating him in the rear yard of a home in that block.  As the dog approached him, the suspect surrendered to officers.  Police located a bag of unidentified property nearby in bushes near the sidewalk, and took it for safekeeping.

Police booked 20-year-old Alex Guevara of Mountain View into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for felony vehicle theft, felony vandalism (for damaging the victims’ cars), and misdemeanor prowling (for being in someone’s rear yard without lawful purpose).  Guevara is on active probation in Santa Clara County for possession of marijuana for sale, possession of concentrated cannabis, and possession of a weapon on a school campus.  Police also booked him for a felony violation of his probation.  A booking photo of the suspect is attached to this release.

Later in the morning, a resident in the 2600 block of Emerson Street contacted police to report that their video surveillance system had captured the suspect walking down the street that morning shortly before this event, looking into parked and unoccupied cars.  The video showed the suspect entering one unlocked vehicle and rummaging around inside.  It also showed the suspect hiding a bag in a bush next to the sidewalk (the same bag as officers had collected earlier).

Using the video to help them, officers contacted the owner of the vehicle the suspect had entered.  This victim, a woman in her forties, checked her vehicle and reported that an MP3 player was missing from her car.  She said she had likely left it unlocked.  Officers found the MP3 player inside the bag and returned it to the victim, and will be recommending additional theft charges be filed against the suspect by the District Attorney’s Office.  None of the remaining unidentified pieces of property inside the bag are electronic devices; all are small items without obvious substantial monetary value.

Police encourage residents to always lock unoccupied vehicles to prevent easy access for prospective thieves.

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 or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.  Tips can also be submitted anonymously through our free mobile app, downloadable at or