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


Subject :

Statue-Throwing Home Burglars Scared Off by Alarm
Contact : Sean Downey, Officer, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- Two daytime residential burglars tossed a stone garden statue through a glass door at the rear of a residence and attempted to get inside, but were scared off by an alarm that the alert resident had the presence of mind to set before she fled the home.  The suspects are at large.

On Monday, August 3, 2015, at about 10:49 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of two prowlers in the rear yard of a home in the 3800 block of Corina Way who were attempting to get into the home.  As the victim, a woman in her fifties, was on the line with dispatchers, the suspects broke a rear glass door.  The victim fled out the front of her home.  Police responded right away, but after an extensive area search, determined that the suspects had escaped.

The investigation revealed that the two suspects had entered an unlocked side yard gate to gain access to the rear yard.  The victim, who had been working in her kitchen, heard a noise in the yard and then heard someone jiggling the door handles on one of the back doors.  She saw two silhouettes through the drapes.  She immediately armed the alarm system on her home, called 9-1-1, and moved to the front of the house while police responded.  It is unclear whether the suspects would have known that anyone was home.  As the victim was on the phone with dispatchers, she heard a loud smash and saw that a glass door in the rear yard had been broken.  She ran out the front door, which triggered the alarm to sound.

When officers checked the home, they saw that the two suspects had broken the door by throwing a stone garden statue through the glass.  They apparently then tried to reach inside and use the doorknob to let themselves in.  As soon as the victim opened the front door, though, the alarm system sounded loudly, apparently startling the burglars, who fled in an unknown direction and eventually escaped.  The suspects never made it inside the residence, and did not steal any property.

The victim could only vaguely describe the suspects, as she had been looking at them through her drapes.  She said they were both about 5 feet 10 inches tall with slim builds, and one of them was wearing a baseball cap.  She could not determine their race or even their gender.

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

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