Teenage burglars busted in Menlo Park

Neighbor spots crime in progress

While some teenagers are lamenting the end of holiday vacation, others are seizing the opportunity to enrich themselves – only with other people's stuff, instead of knowledge.

Two 16-year-old East Palo Alto teenagers allegedly broke into a house in the 500 block of Pope Street in Menlo Park around 10:36 a.m. on Monday. Their time might have been better spent in school, since the police arrested the pair within minutes after a neighbor spotted the suspects, dressed in black, strolling through the victim's backyard.

After a brief foot chase, officers found stolen property on the suspects and in their burgundy 2000 Mazda 626, according to the report.

The loot ranged from high tech -- a Nintendo Wii with games, a digital camera, a computer, and Bose speakers -- to low tech in the form of a golf shirt, heirloom watch and ear buds. Police spokesperson Nicole Acker said all stolen items were recovered.

The teens were booked into Hillcrest for residential burglary and don't appear to have prior records, police said.

Anyone with information about this incident can call the police at 330-6300.

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Like this comment
Posted by EPA Parent
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 11, 2011 at 2:05 pm

That is every parents nightmare, to have to go pick up their child after they do something so stupid. Those two should be grounded and made to do something good for those who they robbed.
I hope that they learn that what they did was not appropriate and decide to become good citizens. They are young enough to change and I hope they do.

Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 11, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Grounded - you're kidding, right? They broke into someone's home and stole their belongings.

Like this comment
Posted by Vic
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 12, 2011 at 10:46 am

As a society we have to take a close look at these juvenile offenders and determine if they are well on a path to becoming career criminals, or if their act is just an indiscretion of youth. I have no idea which applies in this case, but we can't be naive. Too many people immediately dismiss these crimes as just a stupid mistake, or kids being kids, but sadly we're living in a time where gang members are being initiated at middle school age and are expected to step up and deliver a life filled with crime, drug dealing and violence. Many of these young people have been born into this life where being a gang member is institutionalized in their families and neighborhoods. One generation passed on to the next. More young offenders are being held criminally accountable as adults in California for this very reason, specifically in the case of violent, horrific crimes.

I truly believe that we should never give up entirely on young people that have entered this life, and should look closely at who can be rehabilitated. We should also understand the sad facts, and realize that for some there is no turning around.

Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 12, 2011 at 11:28 am

Vic, I agree with you. Although gang and other criminal activities have no place in my family and my children's lives, if they were to do something like this, grounding would be the very least of the consequences. Breaking into someone's home is not 'inappropriate'. Inappropriate is using the wrong fork, swearing in the wrong situation, wearing the wrong shirt. This behavior is criminal. If these teenagers have not been taught to respect the law, let along other people's property, they have not been raised well and who ever is responsible for raising them needs to start over from the beginning. It is often in preschool that children are taught to respect others. I suggest they start there.

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