Palo Alto, CA – Police are investigating an overnight crime spree in a Palo Alto neighborhood that occurred early Monday morning, where two homes were burglarized while residents slept inside and a car from a third home was stolen but recovered nearby. The unknown suspects are at large.
On Monday, October 12, 2020, at about 8:18 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a residential burglary that had occurred overnight at a home in the 700 block of Gailen Avenue. The investigation revealed that two suspects had forced entry into the home’s garage at about 2:42 a.m. (as determined by a later review of home surveillance system) and stole two bicycles. The victims, a couple in their thirties, were asleep inside the home at the time of the crime and did not know it had occurred until they awoke to find the bicycles (a men’s black Gary Fischer Marlin mountain bike and a women’s black and teal Marin Kentfield CS1 bike) missing. The suspects did not make entry into the residential portion of the home. Three still images taken from the home surveillance video depicting the two suspects are attached to this release. Note the unique mark or tattoo on the right side of the neck of the second suspect.
While conducting a routine neighborhood check for the above burglary, officers located a neighbor in the 700 block of Gailen Avenue who reviewed their own home surveillance system around the same time frame. They had footage of a male with a flashlight prowling in their yard after entering through an unlocked side gate at about 2:37 a.m. No additional crime was committed at this property. That suspect appears to be the same person as the one wearing the face covering and hooded sweatshirt from the burglary. This video is not of sufficient quality to aid the public in identifying the suspect.
At about 9:39 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a stolen vehicle that had occurred overnight at a home in the 3800 block of Corina Way. This location is about a tenth of a mile from Gailen Avenue. The investigation revealed that an unknown suspect had stolen a 2012 Audi Q-7 sports utility vehicle belonging to the victim (a man in his thirties). The vehicle had been parked on the street with its doors unlocked, and the key had accidentally been left in the ignition. A review of home surveillance video from the victim’s home, as well as from the homes of neighbors, showed the theft occurred at 3:07 a.m. The videos depicted a light-colored sedan arriving on the street, with a passenger getting out, rummaging through the victim’s unlocked car, and then driving away in it with the sedan departing as well. The video is not of sufficient quality to aid the public in identifying the suspects or their sedan.
At about 10:23 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received another call of a residential burglary that had occurred overnight at a home in the 3700 block of Nathan Way. This location is about a third of a mile away from Gailen Avenue. The investigation revealed that an unknown suspect had entered the property through an unlocked side yard gate and made entry through an unlocked window. Once inside the home, the suspect stole the resident’s purse from the kitchen table. Nothing else was stolen or appeared to be disturbed, and it appears as though the suspect left once obtaining the purse without entering any other rooms. The victims, a couple in their forties, were asleep inside the home at the type of the crime and did not know it had occurred until they awoke to find the purse missing, the side yard gate open, and the open window with a screen removed.
Follow-up investigation revealed that an unknown suspect had attempted to use credit cards that had been in the victim’s purse at a San Jose convenience store around 4:45 a.m. that same morning. Detectives are following up on those transactions.
While investigating this burglary, police located the stolen Audi Q-7 in the 3800 block of Nathan Way. The vehicle was unoccupied. Police processed the vehicle for evidence and returned it to the victim.
Overnight residential burglaries are extremely rare in Palo Alto. Most residential burglars commit their crimes during the day, when homes are unoccupied and the chance of a confrontation with a resident are correspondingly reduced. Police recommend putting locks on side yard gates to prevent easy unauthorized access to your property. Detectives believe all three of these crimes were likely committed by the same two suspects, and there is no indication that those suspects intended any physical harm to the sleeping residents.
Anyone with information about these incidents 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.