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


Subject :

Surveillance Video Spots Possible Theft Suspect, Identification Needed
Contact : Marco Estrada, Agent, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- Police are hopeful that surveillance video may lead to the identification of a suspect who may have committed five thefts overnight last week in the College Terrace neighborhood.

On the morning of Friday, May 1, 2015, our 24-hour dispatch center received five separate reports of various types of thefts that had occurred overnight in the College Terrace neighborhood.  All of the thefts occurred between 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 30 and 7:30 a.m. on Friday, May 1.  As officers began to investigate the crimes and look for witnesses, neighbors started a discussion thread about the crimes on the private social networking site Nextdoor.  A neighbor saw that thread, checked his video surveillance system, and found that he had video of a possible suspect who had come onto his property at 5:10 a.m. on May 1. That neighbor provided the video to police, who are now in turn releasing it to the public with the hopes that someone will recognize the possible suspect.  To view the video on our YouTube channel, click here.

The possible suspect was captured on video at a home in the 2000 block of Oberlin Street.  He did not commit a crime at this residence, but rather approached a side yard gate.  The resident, a man in his sixties, told police he believes that a motion sensor light that activated as the suspect approached likely scared him off.  The video shows him getting onto a dark mountain bike and riding away.  The suspect appears to be a male with a light complexion and short dark hair, wearing a long-sleeved light-colored top and dark pants.

Police believe this man may be responsible for any or all of the five thefts that occurred in the neighborhood that night.  A brief synopsis of the cases follows.

- In the 2200 block of Princeton Street, a suspect entered an unlocked structure in the victim's back yard and stole a laptop computer, a power tool, and a black and silver Trek mountain bike.

- In the 900 block of College Avenue, a suspect entered a garage via an unlocked side door, rummaged around, and stole a bicycle and some clothes.  The victim from the Princeton Street case above found the bicycle in front of a neighbor’s house (also in the 900 block of College Avenue).

- In the 2100 block of Oberlin Street, a suspect entered a car parked in a driveway, rummaged around, and took a couple of items of personal property.  The car had likely been left unlocked.

- In the 2300 block of Yale Street, a suspect entered a back yard storage area and stole a locked blue and white Specialized Allez road bike.

- In the 2100 block of Princeton Street, a suspect entered a side yard and stole a black Cannondale mountain bike that may or may not have been locked to itself.

Police encourage you to always close and lock doors and windows overnight and whenever you are out, and to lock side yard gates.  If meter readers need to access your utility meter behind a locked gate, you can call Palo Alto Utilities Customer Service at 650-329-2161 to discuss options.  For a full list of crime prevention tips, please visit

Anyone with information about this suspect or 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