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


Subject :

Police Nab Burglars Following Doorbell Ruse
Contact : Lieutenant Zach Perron, Palo Alto Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- Officers from the Palo Alto Police Department arrested three 15-year-old juveniles for burglary and other charges after an alert resident notified police of their suspicious behavior.

On Friday, February 17, 2012 at about 12:04 PM, officers responded to the 100 block of Emerson Street after a resident called police to report that three juvenile males had just been at her front door. One of them rang her doorbell while the other two remained at the curb. When she answered the door, the male asked if "Jim" was home. No one named "Jim" lives at the residence. The three males then turned and ran away. The resident called police immediately and provided a clothing description of the juveniles. The juveniles did not commit any crime at this residence.

Officers located the three juveniles in the 200 block of Byron Street about 10 minutes later. The ensuing investigation revealed that two of them were in possession of property stolen in two recent residential burglaries, while the third was in possession of a “punch,” a common type of burglary tool. Two of the suspects were also on juvenile probation in San Mateo County (one for burglary and the other for weapons offenses).

One of the juveniles was wearing a sweatshirt stolen from a residential burglary that occurred around noon on Monday, February 13, 2012, in the 1000 block of Middlefield Road in Palo Alto. In that case, the resident returned home to see a group of juveniles walking away from her house and discovered shortly thereafter that her house had been ransacked. The suspects gained entry to the house by opening an unlocked side yard gate
and smashing a window on the side of the house. The victim called police immediately, but officers were unable to find the suspects at that time.
Investigation from today's incident linked all three arrested juveniles to this burglary.

One of the other juveniles was in possession of a piece of personal identifying information that had been reported stolen from a residential burglary in Menlo Park that occurred in early February.

Police booked the two suspects on probation into the San Mateo County Youth Services Center for residential burglary, conspiracy and probation violations. The one on probation for burglary was also booked for possession of stolen property (for the property stolen in the Menlo Park burglary) and the one on probation for weapons offenses was also booked
for possession of burglary tools.

Police booked the third suspect into the Santa Clara County Juvenile Detention Center for residential burglary, conspiracy and possession of stolen property (for the sweatshirt stolen in the Palo Alto burglary).

Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department are conducting follow-up investigation to see if these three suspects may be responsible for any other local residential burglaries.

Police are not releasing any additional information about the juveniles as it is against release of information procedures. Police will also not release booking photos of the juveniles.

Lieutenant Zach Perron of the Palo Alto Police Department said, “We'd like to remind residents that potential burglars will often ring doorbells to see if anyone is home, as was the case here. We urge people to speak through their doors to ask who is there or otherwise acknowledge in some manner that someone is home. They should call us to report anything out of the ordinary.”

The Palo Alto Police Department asks that people report suspicious activity immediately to 9-1-1. They ask that anyone having information about today’s incident or other recent burglaries, contact our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.