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


Subject :

Auto Burglars Caught – 23 Palo Alto Burglaries Solved
Contact : Agent Dan Ryan, Palo Alto Police Department    408-406-1330
Palo Alto, CA - East Palo Alto police responded to an auto burglary on August 31, 2008 and located three juveniles who had just smashed the window of a vehicle on Woodland Avenue. Two of the youths fled and one surrendered at the scene. The two that fled were recognized by the officers, and they were later arrested at their homes. All three were charged with burglary and possession of stolen property, and two were booked into Juvenile Hall.

While investigating the burglary, the East Palo Alto police located some stolen property from an earlier burglary that had occurred in Palo Alto. The officers contacted our officers, who followed up on the Palo Alto cases related to these burglars. After additional work, including probation searches, Palo Alto Detective James Reifschneider was able to connect the trio to a string of 23 separate crimes that had occurred in Palo Alto, primarily in the Crescent Park and Duveneck / St. Francis neighborhoods, dating back to May 2008. This represents over 10 % of all the auto burglaries that occurred in Palo Alto over the four month period.

The trio of youths, aged 12, 14, and 16 years old, had typically cased the neighborhoods on foot during daylight hours, identifying cars where stereos or GPS devices were visible. They would return late at night, in a vehicle, and steal from the cars that they had identified earlier.  

The youths, who cannot be identified owing to their ages, will also be charged in Santa Clara County for the crimes committed here.