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


Subject :

Police Arrest Three Juveniles for Attempted Residential Burglary
Contact : Brian Philip, Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – Following a call from a resident reporting a stranger knocking at the front door, responding officers located four juveniles a block away who had just attempted to burglarize an unoccupied home.  Police arrested three of the juveniles, while the fourth escaped in a vehicle.

On Sunday, February 5, 2017, at about 8:36 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a resident in the 4100 block of Georgia Avenue reporting that a stranger was repeatedly banging on her front door.  The resident did not recognize the stranger, and called police to report suspicious circumstances.  The stranger did not commit a crime at this residence.

Police responded to check the area, and an officer saw four juveniles emerging from a side yard of a home in the 600 block of Georgia Avenue (which, despite the difference in street numbering, is only one block away from the reporting party).  When the officer went to stop them, two of them complied, while the other two fled.  One of those subjects ran to a nearby vehicle and sped away in a blue Honda Odyssey minivan, while officers located the fourth juvenile a couple of blocks away and detained him without incident.

The investigation revealed that the suspects had removed two screens from windows in the rear yard of the home from which the officer observed them leaving.  They were not able to make entry into the home, which was unoccupied at the time.

Police arrested the three suspects, all of whom are 16-year-old San Jose residents (including one girl and two boys), for attempted residential burglary (a felony).  Police transported them to the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall.

In accordance with our standard release of information procedures, no additional information on the suspects is available since they are under the age of 18.  We do not release booking photographs of juveniles in such situations.

Detectives are actively investigating this case, to include attempting to identify the outstanding suspect (who is only described as a Hispanic male teenager).  Detectives are also seeing if these suspects may be connected to any other residential burglaries in Palo Alto or surrounding communities.

This case highlights a common operating practice of residential burglars, where they will knock on the front door of a home to see if anyone is home.  If they do not receive an answer at the door, they will attempt to gain access to the backyard via an unlocked side yard gate.  Once in the backyard and unseen by passersby, they will try to find a way to break into the residence.

Police recommend that you never open your front door to someone you do not recognize, and instead, just speak to them through the closed door to let them know someone is home.  If the situation seems suspicious, call the police as the resident in this case did.  Police also recommend placing locks on side yard gates.

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