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


Subject :

Burglars Smash Van into Closed Business Overnight
Contact : Brian Philip, Detective Sergeant, Palo Alto Police Department    650-329-2413
Two burglars broke into a closed business on California Avenue early this morning by driving their van through the front plate glass windows.  They stole thousands of dollars of merchandise and are at large.

On Thursday, February 19, 2015, at about 4:32 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call reporting a burglary in progress at Keeble & Shuchat Photography at 261 California Avenue.  The business was closed at the time.  Officers responded immediately, but the suspects fled prior to police arrival.  Officers found the front of the business, which had plate glass windows and glass front doors, had been shattered, and the interior metal roll-down security gate had been bent.  Interior glass display cases were shattered, and merchandise appeared to be missing.

The investigation, which included interviews with multiple witnesses who were in the area at the time of the burglary, revealed that the two suspects had likely reversed their vehicle into the front of the store, smashing through the front glass wall and doors, as well as the interior security gate.  While no witnesses saw the initial collision, one reported hearing a loud screech followed by a loud crash.  When witnesses noticed what had occurred, they saw the suspects getting into the vehicle and driving away at a high rate of speed westbound on California Avenue towards El Camino Real.

Witnesses described the driver as a Hispanic male in his early- to mid-twenties, wearing a black and white beanie with long pull cords on each side, a black sweatshirt, and a thin moustache.  Witnesses described the other suspect as a tall, thin man of unknown race wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, dark jeans, and dark shoes.  Witnesses described the suspect vehicle as an older red minivan with dark tinted windows.  The rear license plate of the van was covered with black plastic.  There is no video surveillance footage available for release, and no sketches of the suspects are able to be produced.

Employees of the business are still compiling a list of merchandise stolen from their store, but initial reports indicate that the loss is likely tens of thousands of dollars.  There is no estimate at this time on the cost to repair the damage to the building.

Detectives are actively working on this investigation, and are looking into the possibility that this crime may have been committed by the same men who burglarized a closed Mountain View business called Audio High at 165 Moffett Boulevard in the early-morning hours of February 9, 2015.  The suspect vehicle in that case was similar.  For more information on that case, and to view surveillance video footage of the suspects and vehicle, see the Mountain View Police Department's YouTube video at

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