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


Subject :

Police Find Prowler on Rooftop
Contact : Marco Estrada, Agent, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – Police arrested a man Friday afternoon after he attempted to steal the wheels from a bicycle that was parked in the carport of a home and, upon being interrupted by the resident, ran through several yards and hid atop the roof of a nearby home. 

On Friday, August 14, 2015, at about 2:00 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a resident in the 600 block of Stanford Avenue reporting a prowler in her carport.  She reported that, upon being seen by her, the man fled by climbing an adjacent fence.  Officers responded to the area immediately and began to search for the man.  Shortly thereafter, our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a resident in the 500 block of Oxford Avenue reporting that he had just seen a man in his enclosed backyard.  Officers spotted a man matching the suspect's description a short time later hiding atop the roof of a residence on the 600 block of Stanford Avenue.  He was detained without incident.  

The investigation revealed that the suspect had entered the carport of the victim’s home with the intention of stealing the wheels from a bicycle parking therein.  The suspect removed the wheels but was confronted by the victim before he could take them.  He then fled the victim’s yard by climbing a fence and running through several adjacent residential backyards.  Inside one of those yards, he was confronted by the second victim, from whom he also fled.  Ultimately, the suspect sought refuge atop the roof of the house upon which he was found by police. 

Police cited and released 30-year-old San Jose resident Eric Thomas Schmidt for one count of prowling and one count of petty theft, both misdemeanors.  No booking photograph is available. 

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