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


Subject :

Police Arrest Residential Burglar After Victim Finds Him in Side Yard
Contact : Zach Perron, Captain, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – Police tracked down and arrested a residential burglary suspect last weekend after a victim returned home to find the man exiting her side yard.

On Sunday, January 29, 2017, at about 4:55 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call reporting an interrupted residential burglary that had just occurred in the 700 block of East Charleston Road.  The victim, a woman in her fifties, reported that the suspect had fled the scene in a waiting getaway car.  Officers responded to the area, but the suspect vehicle could not be found.

The investigation revealed that the victim had returned home and found that the side yard gate to her home was open.  She thought that was odd, and went to investigate.  Suddenly, an unknown man came running out from the side yard and ran to a waiting car driven by a second suspect.  The vehicle fled eastbound on East Charleston Road, but an alert neighbor happened to observe what happened, jotted down the license plate, and provided that to police.  As it turns out, the suspect had not yet had a chance to break into the victim's home, and so no property was stolen.

Following up on the license plate information, officers located the car (a white 1994 BMW 318i two-door) in the 500 block of Runnymede Street in East Palo Alto, and detained one suspect there without incident.  Follow-up investigation determined that suspect was the one who had run from the victim’s side yard.  He initially lied about his identity to police, but was subsequently identified as 19-year-old Roger Penacorona of East Palo Alto.  Officers learned that he was currently out on bail after being arrested in San Carlos on January 11, 2017, for another residential burglary.

Police booked the suspect into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for attempted residential burglary (a felony), committing a felony while being out on bail for another felony (which is a new felony charge), and providing false information to police (a misdemeanor).  His booking photo is attached to this release.

Detectives are actively conducting follow-up investigation into the identity of the getaway driver, who was only described by the victim and witness as a Hispanic male.  Detectives are also investigating any possible connection between these suspects and other residential burglaries that have occurred 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