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


Subject :

Following Stop and Arrest by CHP, Police Arrest Two Home Burglars
Contact : James Reifschneider, Lieutenant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – Police arrested two suspects who had committed a residential burglary in Palo Alto after they were stopped by the California Highway Patrol in Gilroy and found to be in possession of the victim's stolen property.

On Sunday, March 12, 2017 at about 10:44 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a residential burglary that had just been discovered at a home in the 600 block of Fulton Street.  The residents, a couple in their seventies, reported that they had returned home a few minutes earlier after being gone since 9:30 a.m.

The investigation revealed that the suspect had gained access to a side yard via an unlocked gate, and then entered the home itself by forcing open a window that had been left ajar.  Once inside, the suspect stole jewelry, a checkbook, credit cards, cash, and miscellaneous personal property.  The victims had no suspect information.

At about 2:00 a.m. on Monday, March 13, 2017, an officer from the California Highway Patrol stopped a black 2001BMW 535i four-door sedan for an infraction Vehicle Code violation in Gilroy being driven by 29-year-old Joseph Nolan Hopkins of Costa Mesa. His wife, 28-year-old Breanna Maree Hopkins, was a passenger in the car. During the course of the stop, the CHP officer discovered the victims’ checkbook inside the car and notified the Palo Alto Police Department.  They also found both suspects to be in possession of burglary tools, and learned that the male had initially given police a false name.  The CHP officer booked both suspects into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for possession of stolen property (a felony) and possession of burglary tools (a misdemeanor).  The CHP officer also booked the male for providing false information to police (a misdemeanor).  The booking photos of both suspects are attached to this release.

Later that morning, detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department went to the jail to conduct interviews and follow-up investigation.  They learned that the male was out on bail for burglary, grand theft auto, and resisting arrest.  Detectives added additional booking charges on the male of residential burglary (a felony) and committing a felony while out on bail for another felony (also a felony).  Detectives are requesting that the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office add a felony charge of residential burglary on the female.

Detectives conducted a full search of the suspect vehicle and ultimately recovered all of the property stolen from the burglary, with the exception of a couple items of miscellaneous personal property, which remain missing.  Detectives are still investigating to see if these two suspects may be connected to any other residential 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