Palo Alto police using a mobile app to track a stolen iPad arrested a San Jose man and recovered additional stolen property and narcotics, police announced.
Police arrested Mario Pineda Zaragoza, 48, for the Sept. 17 burglary of a Palo Alto residence on the 3300 block of Birch Street near Lambert Avenue. Officers responded at 8 p.m. to a call from a woman in her 20s who reported the break-in. The burglary occurred between 10 a.m. and 7:45 p.m. while she was away, police said.
The burglar gained entry by cutting a window screen covering an open bedroom window. Electronic items, including two iPads, a laptop computer and a digital camera and jewelry were missing from the residence, police said.
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. Police found the stolen iPad inside the home after they contacted the occupants.
Officers also found a laptop computer stolen in an auto burglary from Milpitas, and a laptop computer from a residential burglary in San Jose. Additional property from the Palo Alto burglary was not recovered, police said.
Zaragoza was arrested at the home. He also allegedly possessed several oxycodone and hydrocodone pills without a prescription. He was booked 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.
Detectives are investigating whether Zaragoza is connected to any additional burglaries in Palo Alto. Anyone who might have information about this suspect or incidents is asked to call the police at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.
The Palo Alto Police Department is encouraging people to enable security features such as Find My iPhone on their portable electronic devices whenever possible, and to familiarize themselves with how to use them.
If a portable electronic device is stolen or lost and one is using a remote application to track its location, police ask residents to notify local law enforcement agency immediately and not try to recover the property on their own.
Theft of portable electronic devices is a common crime, police said. More information about mobile-electronic-device theft and steps residents can take to safeguard property can be found on the video "The Epidemic of iCrime," which was produced by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office earlier this year at www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4zsZqgk5Jk.