JJ&F alleged burglar was a former employee

Gustavo Alvarez worked in the deli section prior to July 11 incident

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.

Related story:

Man arrested after break in at JJ&F Market


Like this comment
Posted by Phil
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Sad that good people get taken advantage of. Degenerates like Alvarez count on the compassion, tolerance, and benevolence of others to further their personal gain. When we wonder why society seems to become more calloused and cynical, we only need to look at incidents like this for the answer. The store owners expected gratitude and loyalty for dropping the previous charges. All they got in return was more deceit and thievery. Typical.

Like this comment
Posted by gina
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 16, 2012 at 11:50 am

When I first read this story I knew it had to be an inside job. what fool would rappel through a broken skylight unless he knew his way around the place he was about to break into. what a dork. or as bugs bunny would say "WHAT A MAROON".

Like this comment
Posted by local gurl
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 17, 2012 at 8:56 am

Should have prosecuted him. There is no room for a "big heart" in these kind of situations. You just let someone go on to victimize MORE people instead of paying for the initial crime.

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