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

8/26/2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE 08262013
Subject :

Police Arrest Two Suspects for Residential Burglary
Contact : Ron Harris, Detective, Police Department    650-329-2413
Victor Hugo Marin booking photoFrancisco Anthony Pinedo-Escalante booking photo
Palo Alto, CA -- Officers arrested two suspects for residential burglary earlier this month shortly after they committed the crime, and detectives connected one of them to an additional residential burglary that had occurred just days before.

On Monday, August 12, 2013, at about 11:17 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch received a 9-1-1 call reporting a prowler at a residence in the 1900 block of Edgewood Drive.  The victim, a woman in her twenties, reported that a suspect had knocked on her front door.  She looked through the peephole, but did not recognize him and ignored the knock.  A short time later, she saw the suspect in her side yard, walking towards the backyard.  She and the suspect made eye contact through a window, causing the suspect to flee.

The victim provided a description of the suspect to police, who responded to the area to search for him.  During that search, a passerby reported two suspicious men on skateboards in the area who had apparently been looking into houses.   One of these men also matched the description of the prowling suspect.

At about 11:36 a.m., an officer detained two men on skateboards matching the descriptions on Edgewood Drive at Newell Road.  Other officers checked residences nearby, and discovered a home in the 1900 block of Edgewood Drive that had been recently burglarized and ransacked.  The home had been entered via an unsecured sliding rear door.

The investigation revealed that the two suspects were in possession of property stolen in the burglary, to include a laptop computer, jewelry, passports, and birth certificates.  Police arrested 18-year-old Victor Hugo Marin, a transient whose last known address was in Menlo Park, and 18-year-old Francisco Anthony Pinedo-Escalante of East Palo Alto.

Follow-up investigation by detectives connected Pinedo-Escalante to a prior residential burglary that had occurred on July 31, 2013, in the 1900 block of Channing Avenue.  In that case, the suspect forced entry to a side door of a garage and then pried open another door to get inside the actual residence.  A handgun and jewelry were reported stolen in that burglary; that property remains outstanding.

Police booked both suspects into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for residential burglary (for the 1900 block of Edgewood Drive burglary case) and attempted residential burglary (for the original prowling call).  Additionally, police also booked Pinedo-Escalante for the residential burglary in the 1900 block of Channing Avenue.  All charges are felonies.  Booking photos of both suspects are attached to this release.

Detectives are continuing to investigate if these two suspects are responsible for any additional residential burglaries in Palo Alto and/or surrounding cities.

This case highlights a common operating style of residential burglars.  Burglars will often ring the doorbell, posing as a solicitor or supposedly looking for someone who does not live there, to see if anyone is home.  In many cases, burglars then gain access to the rear yard after finding an unlocked side yard gate.  Once in the privacy of a backyard, they are free to break into the home unnoticed by passersby.  Residents are encouraged to speak through their doors to ask who is calling, or otherwise acknowledge in some manner that someone is home.

Police encourage you to always close and lock doors and windows whenever you are out, and to lock side yard gates.  If meter readers need to access your utility meter behind a locked gate, you can call Palo Alto Utilities Customer Service at 650-329-2161 to discuss options.

The Palo Alto Police Department's website has a section on crime prevention tips.  It can be accessed at www.cityofpaloalto.org/StopCrime.  There are pages on home security, recognizing suspicious behavior, and more.

Anyone who may have information about these suspects or these cases 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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