Teens arrested for attempted burglary on Stockton Place

Palo Alto and Menlo Park police arrest two boys in connection with Monday incident

Two teenagers who Palo Alto police say tried to rob a house on Stockton Place on Monday night were tracked down and arrested Tuesday afternoon in Menlo Park.

The suspects, both 16, were apprehended at about 2:45 p.m. after officers located them in a home on the 1100 block of Carlton Avenue. While one boy was arrested without incident, the other one allegedly ran out the back door with a loaded gun. Police said he discarded the gun as he fled the house and ran "right into the waiting arms" of two detectives stationed behind the house. No one was injured.

The Tuesday arrests follow a Monday night arrest of a third teenager who Palo Alto police suspect was the getaway driver in the attempted burglary. Police said the burglary was interrupted when the resident, a woman in her 50s, came home and saw that her front door was open, that the lights were on and that a screen was missing on one of her windows. When she looked inside, she saw that her house had been ransacked and that a stranger was inside her home, talking to someone.

Police said the victim also noticed a third person sitting in a car near the house. She took note of the car's license plate number and called the police. Minutes later, officers stopped the car, a 1997 Honda Civic, as it was leaving the 2100 block of Maddux Avenue. In the trunk, they found a replica assault rifle, a ski mask and a knit cap. Police arrested the driver, a 15-year-old boy from East Palo Alto. He was charged with felony residential burglary and released to the custody of a parent, according to a statement from the department.

The attempted burglary drew heavy police activity to the quiet neighborhood next to Seale Park. Police dogs from Palo Alto and Los Altos police departments took part in the search. A police helicopter from the San Jose Police Department also assisted with the search Monday night.

Police said the investigation revealed that no items had been stolen from the home but that the two suspects who fled the house had filled bags with various items and stashed them near the front door. Police believe they had been frightened off when the resident returned home.

Because all three suspects are juveniles, police will not be releasing their names or photos. Police said both suspects arrested Tuesday were on juvenile probation for burglary. The boy who police arrested inside the home was charged with felony residential burglary. The one who tried to run away was arrested for felony residential burglary, felony possession of a firearm and resisting arrest. Police said they are from Menlo Park and East Palo Alto, respectively. Both were taken to the San Mateo County Juvenile Hall.

Palo Alto officers are investigating to see if the suspects are connected to any other burglaries or crimes in Palo Alto or surrounding communities. Anyone with information about this incident or these suspects is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Thanks to PAPD for the success in this case. Whereas helicopter seems like overkill, I think it is becoming more necessary for the police not only to be doing something but also to be seen to be doing something to catch the criminals who seem to be relentless in their pursuit of crime and criminal intent.

These kids are obviously not scared of the consequences of their crimes. Whether they expected to get away with crimes or that they don't care, they need to see that law enforcement are pulling out all the stops to catch those who prey on society.

Well done and hope the message will get across.

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Posted by Bruce Li
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Apr 16, 2014 at 12:39 am

Overkill? One suspect was later found with a gun and they're breaking into somebody's home! Come on people give me a break shouldn't the police use whatever resources are available to catch these scrotes!


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 16, 2014 at 12:49 am

I broke into a cold-sweat revisiting last October's aftermath of young teen with replica assault rifle vs Santa Rosa police. How close did we come Monday night? How do we expect our police to react if a barrel swings their direction? What glimmer of sanity came across the kid who tossed his loaded weapon before running into those detectives? Allegedly.

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2014 at 7:39 am

Before people get carried away praising the Palo Alto Police, it's clear the praise goes to the woman who was able to keep a cool head, and get the license number of the 3rd member of this home invasion team. Without her quick thinking--these guys might have gotten away with their crime.

Sadly--they will disappear in the system, and we will never know who they are, or what punishment they receive, if any.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2014 at 8:10 am

Channel 9, PBS, showed a good 2 hour Alan Alda special called Brains on Trial last night. It showed, among other things, that a teenage brain acts differently to an adult brain - particularly when a teen is with friends. It was showing, among other things, that someone just turned 18 is not mature enough to be treated as an adult.

I am glad these teens were caught, pleased that the woman and the police did what they did, but it is worth remembering that teens' brains work differently.

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Posted by A no-knee mouse
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 16, 2014 at 9:43 am

Resident: I think you meant to say that "*some* teens' brains work differently". When I was a teen the thought of conducting an armed robbery never ever crossed my mind. I doubt if any of these teens will ever be good citizens. They are a lost cause. Our society would be better off without them in it.

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Posted by Reiji
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 16, 2014 at 10:59 am

[Post removed.]

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Posted by SMH
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 16, 2014 at 11:02 am

THERE ARE MY OPINIONS! Backlash not necessary.

I think they should show their faces/pictures. If they are old enough to do the crime, then they are old enough to have their faces shown to the public. I could walk right by these kids and not know they are about to rob me, but if I had seen their faces before, maybe I'd be more alert and get my pepper spray ready!

So-called "kids" can do adult crimes but get "kid" punishment. These kids know right from wrong, forget the brain acting differently crap...they know what they are doing is wrong!

@A no-knee mouse, I echo your comment. I NEVER thought about robbing someone when I as a teenager...not as an adult either...EVER! They got caught THIS time, but guarantee you they have done it before.

We need to stop treating these kids, that want to be thugs, kids. Will they make better choices moving forward, probably not. 10% of them do, the others don't! They would not survive in another country. We love the US...we pay high taxes, outrageous rent and send thugs to their Mommy's when they commit a serious crime. What a freaking joke.

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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 16, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

Kudos to the cool-headed homeowner and to the wonderful PAPD.

My friends and I did some pretty foolish, brazen things as teenagers, but somehow armed robbery (allegedly, thank you, musical!) was not among them. Why wasn't the 15 year-old sent to juvenile hall? Or is that a thing of the past?

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

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