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


Subject :

Construction Workers Chase and Apprehend Burglary Suspect
Contact : Sean Downey, Officer, Police Department    650-329-2413
Keneth Dale Stepp booking photo
Palo Alto, CA -- Construction workers witnessed an in-progress theft inside a commercial building and attempted to detain the suspect, who fought with them to escape.  The workers were able to restrain the suspect until police arrived to take him into custody.

On Saturday, September 7, 2013, at about 11:01 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a 9-1-1 call from the office complex at 260 Sheridan Avenue of an in-progress commercial burglary where witnesses were holding down the fighting suspect.  Officers arrived on scene within three minutes and found a group of four construction workers who were restraining the suspect on the ground.  Officers handcuffed the suspect, who police subsequently identified as 22-year-old Keneth Dale Stepp of San Jose.

The investigation revealed that the suspect had entered the basement area of the office complex where the construction workers were doing demolition work with a jackhammer.  One of the workers saw the suspect steal an iPod off a work table and flee.  The workers chased after him, and caught him in a hallway of the complex.  As they were escorting him upstairs, the suspect began to fight with them in an attempt to escape.  The four construction workers took the suspect to the ground and restrained him there until officers arrived.  Two workers, as well as the suspect himself, sustained minor bruises and abrasions during the struggle.  One of those workers also received a small cut from a broken glass narcotics pipe in the suspect's possession. No one required medical attention.  Officers returned the stolen iPod to its owner.

Also in the suspect’s possession, officers located a small quantity of methamphetamine, a key to a locked restroom at the complex that had been stolen from one of the offices, and a single round of handgun ammunition.  Police booked the suspect into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for commercial burglary, possession of narcotics, possession of stolen property, and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person (all felonies).  Police also booked him for possession of narcotics paraphernalia (a misdemeanor).  A booking photo of the suspect is attached to this release.

Detectives are investigating to see if this suspect may be connected to any additional burglaries in Palo Alto.  Anyone who may have information about this suspect or incident is asked to call 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.