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


PRESS RELEASE 0427201502
Subject :

Burglary Arrest Made After Suspect Leaves Behind Driver’s License
Contact : Brian Philip, Detective Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- Police arrested a residential burglar this morning after she accidentally dropped her driver's license while struggling with the homeowner to get away.

On Monday, April 27, 2015, at about 10:35 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a resident in the 1000 block of Moffett Circle reporting that a residential burglary had just occurred.  The victim, a woman in her forties, said that she had returned home to find a female suspect running out of her home carrying a backpack full of the victim’s property.  The victim tried to stop the suspect, and the two got into a physical confrontation.  During the course of the struggle, the suspect happened to drop her own driver’s license before abandoning the victim’s property and driving away.  The victim called police immediately, and provided officers with the getaway vehicle’s license plate and the suspect’s driver’s license number.

At about 10:56 a.m., a detective from the Palo Alto Police Department located the suspect’s vehicle (a beige 2006 Honda Pilot) parked at the suspect’s residence in the 1900 block of Euclid Avenue in East Palo Alto.  Officers safely arrested the suspect without incident at her home at 11:04 a.m.

The investigation revealed that the suspect had entered the victim’s unoccupied home via an unlocked window in the rear yard.  The suspect, who was working alone, ransacked the victim’s home and loaded a laptop computer and other items of personal property into a backpack.  The victim just happened to arrive home while the suspect was exiting the house.  The victim sustained minor scrapes to one of her arms as a result of the physical struggle, but did not require medical treatment.  The victim recovered all of her property outside of her home.

Police booked 20-year-old Giovanna Vargas Hernandez into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for two felonies, residential burglary and robbery (as a result of the physical struggle over the victim’s property).  A booking photo of the suspect is attached to this release.  Detectives are investigating if the suspect may be connected with any other residential burglaries, either in Palo Alto or surrounding communities.

Police recommend that residents lock and secure all doors and windows whenever they are not home.  For a list of other crime prevention tips, visit our website 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