Palo Alto, CA – Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a residential burglar caught on video who stole a safe from an unoccupied home on Wednesday afternoon.
On Wednesday, May 2, 2018, at about 6:33 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a residential burglary that had occurred about 90 minutes earlier in the 500 block of West Crescent Drive. The victim, a woman in her forties, reported that an unknown suspect had entered her home via an unlocked sliding door in the backyard while she was running errands. The suspect stole a medium-sized safe that contained jewelry, and he also stole a suitcase.
The victim provided police with surveillance camera images of the suspect, who had come to her front door at 4:55 p.m. while the home was unoccupied. Two images of the suspect are attached to this release. The suspect appears to be a black male between 25 and 35 years old, wearing a white tank top, black pants, and black and white sneakers. He has tattoos on his right upper arm and left wrist. Police located a witness who saw a black male walking away from the scene after the burglary who was struggling to pull a heavy suitcase.
Detectives are actively investigating this case. There were no additional residential burglaries in the neighborhood during the time of this case.
This case is an example of a common technique used by residential burglars, where they first knock on the front door to see if anyone is home. If they do not receive an answer and believe the house to be unoccupied, they will attempt to enter the backyard (often via an unlocked side yard gate) and then attempt to find a way to break in from the privacy of the backyard. For these reasons, police recommend always speaking to strangers at your door from inside (without opening the door) to let them know someone is home. We also recommend placing padlocks on side yard gates. Suspicious behavior by strangers at your door should be reported immediately to the police. We recommend keeping all doors and windows closed and locked when homes are unoccupied.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.