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


Subject :

Interrupted Residential Burglary Leads to Recovery of Stolen Property
Contact : Lieutenant Zach Perron, Police Department    650-329-2413
March 22, 2012 at 7 p.m.

Palo Alto, CA--
An alert resident who witnessed a residential burglary in progress called 9-1-1 this morning, and after the suspects eluded responding officers, the police were ultimately able to recover all of the stolen property from their abandoned getaway car.

At about 9:40 a.m. on Thursday, March 22, 2012, a resident in the 3000 block of Louis Road in Palo Alto observed a man running out of her neighbor's side yard and getting into a waiting vehicle driven by a second person. The man was carrying property as he ran. The resident immediately dialed 9-1-1 and gave a description of the man and the vehicle as it drove away westbound on the 800 block of Clara Drive.

Officers from the Palo Alto Police Department responded and confirmed that a residential burglary had just occurred. The suspect used a pry tool to open a locked window in the back yard, after apparently accessing the back yard via an unlocked side yard gate. Officers checked the home and noticed that at minimum, a big-screen television had apparently been stolen. Other officers checked the area extensively for the vehicle, while the dispatch center notified local law enforcement agencies of what had occurred.

At about 10:01 a.m., an officer from the Mountain View Police Department located a similar vehicle driving on Shoreline Boulevard near U.S. Highway 101 in Mountain View. The driver made an erratic U-turn, apparently to evade the officer, and was able to get away. About a minute later, another officer from the Mountain View Police Department spotted the same vehicle driving recklessly through the parking lot of Gold’s Gym, located at 1400 North Shoreline Boulevard in Mountain View. That officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver sped off and was able to get away a second time. About 10 minutes later, a Mountain View Police Department lieutenant found the vehicle abandoned and unoccupied in the parking lot of Google at 1945 Amphitheatre Parkway in Mountain View. The occupants of the vehicle had fled on foot. Officers located the stolen television inside the car, along with other electronic items that had been taken from the victim’s house.

Officers from the Mountain View Police Department and Palo Alto Police Department checked the area extensively for the suspects, even employing the assistance of a canine unit from the Redwood City Police Department. Police could not find the suspects and ended the search about two hours later. Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department are conducting follow-up investigation to identify and apprehend the suspects, and to determine their connection to any other recent daytime residential burglaries.

The suspect seen running from the side yard was a Hispanic male in his early twenties, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a husky build. He was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and jeans. There is no description available of the driver. The involved vehicle, which is now in police custody, was a white 1994 Lexus ES-300 four-door sedan.

"This is another great example of an alert resident who did the right thing by calling us just as soon as they noticed suspicious behavior," said Lieutenant Zach Perron. “If not for that resident’s call, we likely would not have recovered the victim’s property.”

One of the recommendations from the Palo Alto Police Department’s “Lock It or Lose It!” public education campaign is to encourage residents to lock their side yard gates, so as to prevent easy access to back yards. Once in the privacy of a back yard, burglars are free to break into the home unnoticed by passersby. This is often done after they ring the doorbell, posing as a solicitor or supposedly looking for someone who does not live there, to see if anyone is home. It is unknown if that ruse occurred in this particular case. Residents are encouraged to speak through their doors to ask who is calling, or otherwise acknowledge in some manner that someone is home.

Residents are encouraged to call 9-1-1 to report suspicious behavior. Anyone having information about this incident can contact 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.