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


Subject :

Police Dog Catches Commercial Burglar
Contact : Brian Philip, Detective Sergeant, Police    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – A police dog assisted officers in locating and arresting a man who had burglarized a vacant commercial building.          

On Sunday, January 11, 2015, at about 3:20 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a security guard who was patrolling a construction site on the 1600 block of California Avenue.  The guard reported that he believed someone had broken into one of the vacant buildings on the site.  Officers of the Palo Alto Police Department responded to the area and found evidence that someone had forced entry to the locked construction site, and the locked vacant building within.      

Officers searched the interior of the building with the assistance of a Palo Alto police canine, and the dog located a man hiding inside.  The suspect did not comply with the officers' commands and became combative when officers attempted to restrain him.  After a short struggle, the police dog assisted the officers in taking the suspect into custody.  The suspect sustained a dog bite to his arm.

Nearby, the officers located gloves, a flashlight, a large pair of bolt cutters and other tools that can be used to commit burglaries. 

Investigation revealed that the suspect had forced entry to the locked construction site, and the locked vacant building within, in order to steal metal and wire. 

Police transported the suspect, 41-year-old Alexander Mabutas Handang of San Jose, to a local hospital for treatment of a minor bite wound to his forearm caused by the police dog, and a small abrasion to his face, which occurred during the struggle with officers.  Police then booked him into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for charges of burglary (a felony), possession of burglary tools and resisting arrest (both misdemeanors).  A booking photo is attached to this release.

Investigators do not believe that this incident is related to two other burglaries of an adjacent property that occurred in December of 2014. 
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be emailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.  Tips may also be submitted anonymously through our free mobile app, downloadable at or