Gustavo Alvarez, who was arrested after allegedly rappelling into a Palo Alto market through a skylight, is a former employee, police and one of the store's owners have confirmed.
Palo Alto police arrested Alvarez, 31, for burglary after they responded to an alarm at 520 College Ave. on Wednesday night at 11:20 p.m.
Alvarez, of Palo Alto, was found hiding behind a tree at the back of the building. Police said the skylight glass was broken and set aside so that the suspect could rappel into the store using black satellite-dish cable. The burglar alarm was activated, however.
Lt. Dave Flohr and JJ&F co-owner Ronnie Khoury confirmed on Friday night that Alvarez had worked at the store. Alvarez had worked in the deli section since before the Khourys purchased the market from longtime owners the Garcia family, Khoury said.
Alvarez was fired a few months ago after the store owners noticed checks had been forged and cashed at the bank, Khoury said. But the Khourys decided not to have Alvarez prosecuted. He did not know if the bank had proceeded with any charges against Alvarez.
"We have big hearts here; we dropped the charges. We're all family here. And then this happened. I guess it was meant to be that he went to jail," Khoury said.