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


Subject :

Police Arrest Suspect After Alert Passerby Witnesses Auto Burglary
Contact : Zach Perron, Captain, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – An alert passerby witnessed an auto burglary in downtown Palo Alto, and a prompt call to the police led to the arrest of the suspect and the recovery of the stolen property.

On Saturday, April 29, 2017 at about 8:00 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of an in-progress auto burglary in the 400 block of High Street.  The caller provided a description of the suspect, and officers responded to the area.  An officer located the suspect a short time later riding his bicycle northbound on El Camino Real, and detained him without incident in a parking lot on El Camino Real at Roble Avenue in Menlo Park.

The investigation revealed that the caller was a witness who had been passing by the scene when they observed the suspect use something (later determined to be a rock) to break the window of an unoccupied 2014 BMW 320i sedan that had been parked in the 400 block of High Street.  As the witness watched, the suspect reached into the broken window and removed a duffle bag from inside.  The witness followed the suspect around the corner and watched as he removed several items from the duffle bag, then discarded it and rode away on a bicycle.  The witness picked up the duffle bag and called police immediately.

Officers located the items stolen from the duffle bag in the suspect's pockets and backpack.  Those items were jewelry, earrings, sunglasses, reading glasses, and a credit card.  Police also recovered the rest of the items from the victim’s discarded duffle bag (which included clothes, shoes, and a purse).  Police contacted the vehicle’s owner and returned all of the stolen property directly to her.

Officers determined the suspect was on parole stemming from a prior conviction of burglary in San Francisco.  During a parole search of the suspect’s belongings, police found methamphetamine, narcotics smoking paraphernalia, and burglary tools (a window punch, a file, a multi-tool, and pliers).  Officers also determined the suspect was under the influence of narcotics.

Police booked the suspect, 51-year-old Jesse Aldan of San Francisco, into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for auto burglary and possession of stolen property (both felonies), as well as being under the influence of narcotics, and being in possession of narcotics, burglary tools, and narcotics smoking paraphernalia (all misdemeanors).  Police also booked him for a felony parole violation.  His booking photo is attached to this release.

Detectives are working to determine if the suspect may be connected to any other auto burglaries that have occurred in Palo Alto or surrounding cities.

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