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


Subject :

Spate of Daytime Residential Burglaries Strike Palo Alto
Contact : Lieutenant Zach Perron, Palo Alto Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- Officers from the Palo Alto Police Department are busy investigating eight residential burglaries and one attempted residential burglary that were reported during the day on Friday, February 24, 2012.

Three of the burglaries occurred on the same floor of an apartment complex in the 300 block of Sheridan Avenue between 7:30 AM and 2:45 PM. Three more burglaries occurred on the same floor of an apartment complex in the 400 block of Grant Avenue between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM.  In all six cases, the unknown suspects pried open the front doors and stole electronics and jewelry from inside. Both of these apartment complexes are secured and have locked interior hallways that require a key to gain entry.

Two additional burglaries occurred between 8:15 AM  and 12:15 PM at homes in the 1100 block of Middlefield Road and the 1600 block of Portola Avenue. In those cases, the suspects entered the homes via rear doors (one of which was unlocked, the other of which was forced open) and stole electronics and jewelry from inside.

A resident in the 1100 block of Hamilton Avenue reported that a suspect had tried to force entry to the pet door of their home sometime between February 22 and February 24. The suspect was not able to make entry to the residence, and nothing was stolen.

There is no suspect information in any of these nine cases. Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department are investigating the crimes and any possible link to other burglaries that have been reported in recent weeks.

"Our officers have made a remarkable number of burglary arrests in recent months, many after calls from alert residents," said Lieutenant Zach Perron. "Despite these arrests, the burglaries keep occurring. We continue to ask for the public's help in reporting suspicious activity as soon as possible so that we can have the best chance of catching the suspects."

There are a couple of trends that investigating officers have noticed in recent burglaries that may also have occurred in some of Friday's cases. The burglars often will ring doorbells to see if anyone is home. If they learn that someone is home, they will move on to another residence. If they do not receive an answer at the door, they often will access a rear yard via an unlocked side gate. This gives them private access to rear yards, where they often will pry or force open doors or windows to gain entry to the homes.

To combat these trends, police recommend that residents always speak through their doors to ask who is there, or otherwise acknowledge in some manner that someone is home.

Police also recommend that residents secure their side gates to prevent unfettered access to their rear yards. Lastly, police recommend that residents always lock doors and windows whenever no one is home.

The Palo Alto Police Department asks that people report suspicious activity immediately to 9-1-1. We ask that anyone having information about these burglaries, or any other recent burglaries, contact our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2143. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.