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


Subject :

Parolee Arrested for Residential Burglary and Prowling
Contact : Brian Philip, Detective Sergeant, Police    650-329-2413
Jose Aldan Castro
Palo Alto, CA -- A parolee broke into the basement of a downtown fourplex, but police arrested him shortly thereafter for an array of charges after an alert resident called 9-1-1.

On Saturday, December 8, 2012, at about 1:33 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a 9-1-1 call from a resident in the 300 block of Emerson Street.  The resident reported seeing a male subject in his rear yard.  While police responded, the resident said the subject had walked towards the front of his property and then continued southbound on Emerson Street on foot.

Upon arrival, officers from the Palo Alto Police Department conducted a search of the immediate area with the assistance of a police canine from the Los Altos Police Department.  They located the suspect in the rear yard of a fourplex residence, the property to the immediate south of the original reporting party.  Officers detained the suspect without incident.  There were no injuries to officers or the suspect.

The investigation revealed that the suspect had been inside the basement of the fourplex and rummaged through property belonging to the residents.  Police found the basement door, which was typically secured with a padlock, open and the lock missing.  No property had been stolen from the basement.  The original reporting party also positively identified the suspect as the same person who had been in his rear yard.

The suspect initially lied to officers about his identity, but police eventually identified him as 49-year-old Jose Aldan Castro.  Castro does not currently have a city of residence, and is on active parole stemming from a felony marijuana sales conviction in Los Angeles County.  When searching the suspect's backpack incident to arrest, officers located a small canister of tear gas designed for personal defense (which is illegal for a person with a felony conviction to possess).  Additionally, Castro had in his possession the following items, none of which were in his name:  two Social Security cards, a certificate of title for a vehicle, and a personal check made out to a third party.  Officers were unable to locate the owners of these items and are continuing to investigate to see if they are stolen.

Police booked the suspect into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for the following charges:  residential burglary (a felony, for entering the basement of the fourplex), prowling (a misdemeanor, for being in the rear yard of the reporting party‚Äôs residence) being a felon in possession of tear gas (a misdemeanor), and providing false information to a peace officer (a misdemeanor).  Additionally, the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation issued a felony parole violation charge.  A booking photo of the suspect is attached to this press release.

Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department also interviewed the suspect.  They do not believe he is involved in the early-morning burglary and attempted sexual assault that occurred in the same neighborhood on November 29, 2012.

Residents are encouraged to call 9-1-1 to report suspicious behavior, just like the reporting party did in this case.  It is always better to call and let the police do their job, rather than rationalize suspicious behavior and not call.  Anyone having more information about this case 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.