Palo Alto woman surprises intruder in her home

Man seen running from house on Alexis Drive in foothills

A woman returning to her house in Palo Alto interrupted an intruder who was in the middle of ransacking her home Wednesday (Feb. 9), Palo Alto police said. The burglary took place in the Palo Alto hills on the 2900 block of Alexis Drive.

The resident, who commented on the condition of anonymity, was returning home around noon when she noticed a white car pointed front out in her driveway. As she approached the garage, a man ran from the house, jumped into the car and sped away, she said.

She described the intruder as a black man in his 30s.

"When I saw the car, I wasn't thinking about a burglar or that this was a getaway car," she said Thursday afternoon. "It happened so fast. I'm not used to looking at somebody to describe what they look like (to police)," she said.

The man ransacked several rooms in the house but did not appear to have taken anything.

"He went through nearly every room in the house, but it hasn't been determined if anything was taken yet," Palo Alto police Chief Dennis Burns said.

"He was very busy, I can tell you that," the resident said, referencing the number of drawers that were opened and things that were toppled in her home. The man did seem to be targeting a television set and was using the family's pruning shears to try to cut wires, she said.

The resident said she wasn't sure how the intruder gained entry, but she suspects he might have entered through a window she had left slightly open that morning.

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Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm

This is where it would pay for SOMEONE to have a video camera set up that can record the comings and goings of cars in case of an event like this.

This guy probably had nowhere to flee but forward or backward on Alexis Dr. from what it looks like on Google maps ... so if there was a description of the car it would be easy to track it down even with no or a partial license plate number, and maybe a rough image of the driver, no?

All those rich folks could take a collection and install a camera at the entrance to Alexis drive and prevent a lot of this kind of thing, or at least resolve it if it did happen.

I would hate to know that someone broke into my house and was at large.

Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 11, 2011 at 11:40 am

I wonder if I should start a business for weekend fun buying video systems off and installing them for people. Think of all the good information that could have been gotten from even bad footage of this guy and his car.

Business Plan:
1) Advertise my services and get contacted.
2) Meet at customer house to discuss options, select system, give a price quote for installation.
3) Customer places order for delivery to his house.
4) I show up after delivery with tools and supplies to install cameras as agreed. (Cable staple gun figures large in this plan.)
5) Take money for installation and make sure they call me if they have a problem.

Anyone good with tools want some pocket change?

Like this comment
Posted by kelly
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 11, 2011 at 1:23 pm

This sounds like the same color of car and same mo of the last two guys that broke into PA houses. People lock up all your windows and any animal doors that you have left un-locked or slightly opened. Don't give them reason to get in your house.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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