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


Subject :

Police Searching for Two Burglars Who Entered Occupied Home
Contact : Janine De la Vega, Public Affairs Manager    650-329-2413

Palo Alto, CA – Police are looking to identify two men who entered an occupied home last week. One of the burglars was armed. The victims never came face to face with the suspects, who fled once they realized someone was home. Both men have not been identified and are at large.

On Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 11:29 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a report that two unknown suspects had entered a home in the 700 block of Ellsworth Place about ten minutes earlier. At the time of the burglary, a woman in her sixties and a man in his twenties were at home. The investigation revealed that the man had heard noises in the living room, and so called out to the woman to ask what she was doing. He went to investigate and found an exterior door that leads to his driveway had been forced open. The victim checked a security camera app on his phone and noticed that two men had broken in and entered the home. The suspects had spent less than two minutes inside the home and left. Nothing was taken. Police believe the suspects were startled away when they realized the home was occupied by hearing the victim call out.

The first suspect appears to be a Hispanic male with a medium build. He has a mustache and was wearing a dark-colored jacket and dark-colored hooded sweatshirt. At one point he is seen holding what appears to be a rifle. The second suspect is of an unknown race and had a beard. He was wearing a light-colored hooded sweatshirt and light-colored pants. Surveillance images of both suspects are attached to this news release.

Detectives are actively investigating this incident, and believe it is possible the residence was specifically targeted by the suspects. The same residence was burglarized during the daytime during the first week of December 2018; the same female resident was home at that time when an unknown suspect broke in a side door to the residence. Entry was not made in that case, nor was anything stolen, as the single suspect fled upon hearing the woman inside. The resident called police as the suspect fled the scene in a white sedan. She could not describe the suspect at all in that case.

No similar crimes have occurred recently occurred in Palo Alto, and detectives are looking to see if this crime may be connected to others in 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