Police arrested a maintenance worker Thursday, Feb. 28, after he was photographed by a surveillance camera burglarizing an apartment the day before, according to Palo Alto police.
A woman in her 30s who had been burglarized a year ago installed a surveillance camera inside her apartment in the 300 block of Curtner Avenue. The camera is triggered via a motion sensor, then automatically emails her photographs of the suspect in her apartment.
The suspect was photographed on Wednesday, Feb. 27, stealing a digital music player and the surveillance camera itself, though not before it had already sent the images. The victim called the 24-hour dispatch center at 5:58 p.m. to report that she had been burglarized while she was at work. There were no signs of forced entry to the apartment, the police reported.
The next day officers took the photographs of the suspect to the property management company responsible for the apartment complex. An employee there immediately recognized the suspect as one of their painters, 28-year-old Victor Adrian Martinez-Lopez of Hayward. The company said Martinez-Lopez had no business entering any occupied residence, and was not scheduled to do any work at the victim's apartment complex. Martinez-Lopez did not have access to keys to any of the apartments, and officers believe that he may have entered the victim's apartment via an unlocked window. The property management company cooperated fully with the investigation.
Officers arrested Martinez-Lopez at about 5 p.m. on Feb. 28 in the 900 block of High Street. Officers located the stolen digital music player in his possession. Police booked Martinez-Lopez into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for one count of residential burglary (a felony).
Martinez-Lopez is on court probation in Alameda County stemming from a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Police ask that anyone who may have information about this crime contact the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.