Palo Alto, CA – Police arrested one of two suspects last night after witnessing them commit an auto burglary at the Stanford Shopping Center. The other suspect eluded capture, but detectives are actively working to identify and arrest him.
On Thursday, August 2, 2018, at about 8:27 p.m., officers patrolling the Stanford Shopping Center at 180 El Camino Real observed a white 2002 BMW M-5 slowly driving through the eastern parking lot. Officers believed they may be casing cars to burglarize, and set up to surveil them from a distance.
The officers watched as the front seat passenger got out of the vehicle and began looking into parked cars. They then saw him smash open the front passenger window of a parked, locked, and unoccupied black 2017 Volvo XC-60 and remove a backpack that had been left in plain view on the front seat.
When officers moved in quickly to make the arrests, the suspect dropped the stolen backpack and fled on foot across El Camino Real and down into San Francisquito Creek. Officers gave chase on foot, while others detained the suspect vehicle and its female driver without incident at the scene.
Police searched the creek bed and surrounding areas extensively, enlisting the help of canine teams from both the Menlo Park Police Department and Mountain View Police Department and also a fixed-wing aircraft from the California Highway Patrol. Officers were not able to locate the suspect. He is a black male in his twenties, about 6 feet 3 inches tall, with a skinny build. He was wearing a black or gray sweatshirt and blue jeans. Detectives are actively working to identify and apprehend the man.
Officers returned the stolen backpack, which contained personal property valued around $300, to the appreciative victim. No other auto burglaries or attempted auto burglaries occurred in Palo Alto yesterday; police believe they interrupted this duo's first burglary attempt of the evening. At this early juncture, these two suspects have not been connected to any other burglaries that have occurred in Palo Alto.
Auto burglaries are, unfortunately, common crimes in all parts of the Bay Area, including Palo Alto. The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to always lock your vehicle when it is unattended, and to never leave valuables behind, especially in plain view. If you observe someone behaving suspiciously in a parking lot (for example, by peering into multiple cars, trying door handles, etc.), notify police immediately by calling 9-1-1.
Police booked 20-year-old Nakiyah Shereese Polk of Vallejo into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for auto burglary and conspiracy (both felonies). Her booking photo is attached to this release. The outstanding suspect, once arrested, will face the same two charges with an added misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest (as a result of him running from officers when ordered to stop).
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.