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


Subject :

Phantom of the Opera Masked Man Burglarizes Four Businesses
Contact : Janine De la Vega, Public Affairs Manager    650-329-2413

Palo Alto, CA – Police are searching for a suspect who is responsible for up to four commercial burglaries that happened early Wednesday morning. In all four cases, the windows of the businesses were smashed and the cash registers were stolen.

On Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 2:13 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call that an alarm had activated at Vino Vino Wine located at 437 California Avenue. Upon arrival, officers found the window smashed and the cash register missing. At 4:30 a.m., the same morning, a passerby called our dispatch center to report a window had been smashed at the Simple Be Salon located at 530 University Avenue. When officers arrived they also found the cash register had been taken. The next burglary was reported at 5:30 Subway located at 421 California Avenue. At 8:23 a.m., there was a fourth report of a commercial burglary at Sushi House located at 855 El Camino Real.

Detectives are actively investigating these commercial burglaries. They believe the crimes occurred between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. The latter burglaries were reported when employees discovered the damage upon arriving to work. The suspect was wearing a white Phantom of the Opera mask during the burglaries. However, the suspect was captured on security cameras without the mask on when he was outside of Subway. The still images of the suspect with and without the mask are attached to this news release. He is believed to be a black male, with a medium build, average height, and some facial hair.

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