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


Subject :

Police Arrest Burglar After Short Crime Spree
Contact : Zach Perron, Lieutenant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – Police arrested a man on Thursday night after a short crime spree, during which time he burglarized a business, prowled in someone's backyard, and committed a residential burglary.  An alert officer on patrol spotted him and took him into custody without incident, and police booked the suspect into jail for several charges.

On Thursday, February 18, 2016, at about 5:21 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a prowler that had just fled from the rear yard of a home in the 4100 block of Sutherland Drive.  The resident, a woman in her fifties, saw the suspect in her rear yard.  She told him to leave.  He fled from the yard and was seen by a witness riding away on a bright blue bicycle.  Officers responded but could not locate the suspect.

At about 5:53 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a commercial burglary that had occurred a short time earlier at SummerWinds Nursery at 725 San Antonio Road.  A man approached an employee (a woman in her sixties) at closing time and asked if he could use the bathroom.  She let him in but found him a short time later in the office with a computer tower in his arms.  He immediately fled on foot with the computer tower, and escaped on a bright blue bicycle.  Officers checked the area but could not locate him.

At about 7:03 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of an interrupted residential burglary that had occurred in the 100 block of Greenmeadow Way around 6:00 p.m.  The victim, a woman in her fifties, reported that she had been home and heard noises in a bedroom.  When she went to investigate, she saw an unknown male there.  She yelled at the man, who fled on foot and then rode away on a blue bicycle.  A neighbor heard the victim yelling at the suspect, and went outside to help.  The neighbor saw the suspect riding away, and took a picture of him using a cell phone.  Officers again responded to the area but could not locate the suspect.  The victim reported that nothing had been stolen from her residence.  Police believe the suspect entered the residence via an unlocked front door.  Officers distributed the cell phone picture of the suspect to all field personnel.

At about 8:30 p.m., an officer still in the neighborhood searching for the suspect saw a man matching his description on a bus bench in the 4200 block of El Camino Real.  The officer detained the man without incident, and another officer located the suspect’s bright blue bicycle located nearby.

The ensuing investigation revealed that the suspect had first burglarized SummerWinds Nursery, then tried to hide the stolen computer tower in the backyard of the residence on Sutherland Drive when he was spotted by the victim in that case.  He later burglarized the residence on Greenmeadow Way.  Officers returned to the Sutherland Drive and recovered the stolen computer tower (valued at $450) hidden in the yard.

Police booked 30-year-old Redwood City resident Brandon Robert Yamagata into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for felony residential burglary (for Greenmeadow Way), felony commercial burglary (for SummerWinds Nursery), misdemeanor prowling (for Sutherland Drive), misdemeanor concealing evidence of a crime (for dumping the evidence from the commercial burglary in a private backyard), and another felony of committing a new felony while out on bail for a felony (he has a pending charge in Santa Clara County for vehicle theft).  His booking photo is attached to this release.

This was the second residential burglar arrested by the Palo Alto Police Department in a span of about 9.5 hours on Thursday.  For information on the first arrest, see the news release here.  There are no known connections between the two burglars.  Detectives are investigating Yamagata to see if he may be connected to any other burglaries in Palo Alto or surrounding communities.

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