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


PRESS RELEASE 1007201402
Subject :

Auto Burglars Strike Downtown Palo Alto Parking Garages
Contact : Brian Philip, Detective Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- Burglars struck two downtown Palo Alto parking garages last night, breaking into eight vehicles during the dinnertime  hours.

On Monday, October 6, 2014, officers responded to eight separate auto burglary cases, all of which occurred between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.  Six cases occurred on the third or fourth floors of City Parking Garage "R" at 528 High Street, and two cases occurred on the upper floors of City Parking Garage ā€œJā€ at 520 Webster Street.  In each instance, the burglars made entry into the cars by smashing windows.  Five of the eight were rental cars.  No witnesses have come forward in any of the cases, and there is no suspect information.

In six of the incidents, burglars stole property that had been left in plain view inside the cars; those items included personal electronic devices (like laptops and tablet computers), a purse, and other miscellaneous personal property.  In the other two cases, the burglars rummaged through the cars but did not take anything.

It does not appear that the suspects targeted any particular make or model of car, though it does appear as though the suspects could be targeting rental vehicles, perhaps with the thinking that business travelers often travel with personal electronic devices.

We recommend that you take your valuables with you whenever possible, or at the very least, secure them out of sight prior to arriving at your destination.  Leaving valuables in plain view is a sure way to attract the attention of a burglar.  Also, be sure to always lock your vehicle and close the windows when it is unattended.  While that advice would not have helped the victims in these cases, having a locked vehicle will absolutely have a deterrent effect on some criminals.  For more crime prevention tips, please visit our website at

Officers and detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department are actively working on these cases.  Uniformed officers are increasing their patrols, and plainclothes detectives are also out looking for the suspects.

We encourage people to call 9-1-1 to report suspicious behavior, and allow the police to investigate if that behavior is innocent or criminal.  It is always better to call and let the police do their job, rather than rationalize suspicious behavior and not call.  For example, people loitering in parking lots and peering into cars or trying door handles is absolutely suspicious behavior, and merits a 9-1-1 call right away.

Anyone with information about these incidents 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