Police arrest backyard prowler

Man entered an occupied converted pool house in Palo Alto residence

Police arrested a young man Wednesday night after he entered an occupied converted pool house in the backyard of a Palo Alto residence.

At about 10:31 p.m. on Wednesday, March 5, police received a 9-1-1 call from a resident in the 400 block of Margarita Avenue reporting a prowler in their backyard. The man, 18-year-old Kevin Raul Valencia of Palo Alto, had allegedly entered the resident's converted pool house. A couple in their 20s were inside the pool house at the time and heard an exterior door leading to a bathroom open, police said. They called out to see who was there and heard a "muffled reply," then the door closing. One of them went inside to the main Margarita Avenue house and called police.

The main house residents, a couple in their 50s, then saw Valencia in the backyard and contacted him, police said. They said that he appeared to be intoxicated, but was cooperative and waited with them until police arrived. They arrested Valencia without incident and he was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for one felony count of residential burglary.

Police said they think Valencia entered the backyard through an unlocked side-yard gate and then went into the pool house before realizing someone was inside.

Detectives are investigating to see if Valencia may be connected to any other residential burglaries or prowling incidents in Palo Alto or surrounding communities. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329- 2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff


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Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 6, 2014 at 11:25 am

While I think having their property invaded must have been scary, and an arrest in this case was certainly called for, I to have to have some sympathy for Valencia. 18 years old, is he even out of high school yet? Was he planning college?

Was he REALLY seeking to burglarize the place or was he just stumbling into the wrong place due to intoxication? Was he just trying to use a bathroom and knew the house enough to know one was there? Had he been there before, with friends perhaps?

I'll grant that it was a pretty stupid thing to do, but who has not done a stupid thing or three in their young lives? He gets a pretty dire consequence for his stupid action, most of us are lucky enough not to be penalized as heavily as he will be. The record he will get from this will be damning.

I am not saying Valencia is stupid, even the smarted people do stupid things once in a while. I would like to know more of the facts surrounding this case before I pull my sympathy for Valencia.

Like this comment
Posted by Garden Gnome
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm

[Post removed.]

Like this comment
Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 6, 2014 at 3:43 pm

One can be sympathetic and still expect accountability. I'm sure the facts of the case as well as his criminal background, if he has any, will be considered during the legal proceedings.

Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2014 at 4:36 pm

[Post removed.]

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

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