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


Subject :

Stolen iPad Leads Police to Arrest in Residential Burglary Case
Contact : Kara Apple, Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Mario Pineda Zaragoza booking photo
Palo Alto, CA -- Police used a mobile application to track an iPad stolen in a Palo Alto residential burglary to a home in San Jose, where they ultimately arrested a suspect and recovered stolen property and narcotics.

On Tuesday, September 17, 2013, at about 8:00 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a residential burglary that had occurred at a home in the 3300 block of Birch Street.  The victim, a woman in her twenties, reported that an unknown suspect had burglarized her home between 10 a.m. and 7:45 p.m. that day while no one was at the house.  She discovered the burglary upon returning home.  The ensuing police investigation revealed that the suspect had gained entry by cutting a window screen covering an open bedroom window.  The suspect stole miscellaneous electronic items (to include two iPads, a laptop computer, and a digital camera) and jewelry.

While working with the victim and using the "Find My iPhone" application, police tracked one of the iPads to a residence in the 1800 block of Loyola Drive in San Jose.  Detectives and patrol officers made contact with the residents and located the stolen iPad inside the home.  Police also found a laptop computer stolen in an auto burglary from Milpitas, and a laptop computer stolen in a residential burglary from San Jose.  Police have already contacted the rightful owners of those two pieces of stolen property.  The other property stolen from the Palo Alto home was not recovered.

Police arrested 48-year-old Mario Pineda Zaragoza of San Jose at the scene, and also found him to be in possession of several pills of oxycodone and hydrocodone without a prescription.  Police booked Zaragoza at the Santa Clara County Main Jail for residential burglary, two counts of possession of stolen property, and possession for sales of a controlled substance.  All four charges are felonies.  A booking photo of Zaragoza is attached to this release.

Police credit the “Find My iPhone” application in leading them to the suspect in this case.  We encourage people to enable such security features in their portable electronic devices whenever possible, and to familiarize themselves with how to use them.  If your portable electronic device is stolen or lost and you are using a remote application to track its location, notify your local law enforcement agency immediately and do not take independent action to attempt to recover your property.

Theft of portable electronic devices is, unfortunately, a very common crime.  For more information about mobile electronic device theft and steps you can take to safeguard your property and information, watch “The Epidemic of iCrime,” a 5-minute video produced by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office earlier this year.  It can be found at

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.