News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
650-329-2607
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301

9/25/2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE 092520122
Subject :

Two Arrested for Commercial Burglary, 49 Stolen Laptops Recovered
Contact : Marianna Villaescusa, Agent, Police    650-329-2413
SimonCalhoun
Palo Alto, CA -- An alert security guard interrupted a late-night commercial burglary in progress, and officers arrested the suspects and recovered 49 stolen laptop computers.  One of the suspects happened to be an off-duty security guard assigned to the very business he had just burglarized.

On Monday, September 24, 2012, at about 1:31 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from one of the private security guards who monitors the former corporate offices of Facebook at 1050 Page Mill Road in Palo Alto.  The security company is contracted by Facebook to patrol their property.  The offices, while no longer regularly occupied, still have property belonging to the company inside.  The security guard reported that two masked men dressed all in black had just entered the building and were removing property.  One of the suspects made eye contact with the security guard, and both suspects immediately fled while carrying items.  The security guard was able to see through the eye holes of the mask that the suspect with whom he had made eye contact was a black male, but he was unable to determine the race of the second suspect.  The security guard obtained a description of a suspect vehicle and provided that to the dispatcher.

As officers responded to the in-progress burglary, a sergeant from the Palo Alto Police Department spotted the described vehicle with one occupant heading southbound on El Camino Real about to turn left onto eastbound Page Mill Road.  The suspect vehicle was being closely followed by a second car occupied by a black male.  Officers stopped both vehicles on Page Mill Road at Ash Street at about 1:37 a.m.  Officers saw bins of laptop computers inside the second vehicle, and after further investigation at the scene, officers placed both drivers under arrest.  The driver of the vehicle containing all of the laptops briefly resisted and delayed the officers while being taken into custody, but no one was injured.  Officers eventually located a stolen license plate and burglary tools (specifically, a crowbar, mallet, and screwdriver) inside the first vehicle.  Police confirmed all of the laptops belonged to Facebook.

The investigation also revealed that the driver of the second vehicle was an off-duty private security guard employed by the same security company as the reporting party.  This suspect also patrolled the Facebook offices at 1050 Page Mill Road, and so had knowledge about what property remained inside the building.  The Palo Alto Police Department is not releasing the name of the private security company.

The private security company had also reported an act of vandalism at the same office the night before, on September 23, 2012, at about 5:20 a.m.  In that case, they had noticed a broken window pane near an exterior door.  Officers from the Palo Alto Police Department responded to that call but could not confirm that any property had been stolen.  Officers completed an attempted commercial burglary investigation.  As it turns out, the two suspects arrested the following night had entered the building at that same point of entry. 

Police booked 20-year-old Brandon Simon (the off-duty security guard) and 21-year-old Travis Calhoun, both residents of Sunnyvale, into the Santa Clara County Main Jail.  Police booked both men for commercial burglary, grand theft, possession of stolen property, and conspiracy (all felony charges).  Simon's booking charges also included embezzlement (a felony) and resisting arrest (a misdemeanor).  Calhounā€™s booking charges also included possession of burglary tools and driving with a suspended license (both misdemeanors).  Booking photos of both suspects are attached to this press release.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.





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