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Traffic stop leads to recovery of stolen Palo Alto goods

Police book two East Palo Alto residents after finding stolen items in car

Two East Palo Alto men were arrested last week after a Palo Alto police officer pulled them over for running a stop sign and discovered a cache of stolen electronic items in the vehicle.

Palo Alto police said Sergio Fuentes, 26, and Gerardo Aguilar, Jr., 30, were pulled over by a patrol officer on Sept. 8 after the Land Rover Discovery they were in went through a stop sign on Palo Alto Avenue, near Chaucer Street. The officer allegedly pulled over the vehicle a few blocks away, on Pope Street and Woodland Avenue in Menlo Park, and soon learned that both men were on active parole for burglary.

Police said the officer then conducted a parole search of the vehicle and found an Amazon Kindle that was reported stolen from a home on Maureen Avenue in Palo Alto earlier that day. Police believe the suspect in that burglary entered the home on the 400 block of Maureen between 9 and 10:35 a.m. and stole two e-readers, a cell phone, a desktop computer, a laptop computer and two tablet computers. The victim called the police to report the burglary after his wife came home and discovered the burglary, police said.

After further investigation, police found that the second e-reader and a cell phone were also in the car. The rest of the items stolen in the burglary remain missing, police said.

Aguliar Jr., who was driving the vehicle, was booked for misdemeanor driving on suspended license. Fuentes was arrested for felony possession of stolen items. Police are investigating whether either man was involved in the residential burglary on Maureen Avenue or in any other residential burglaries that have recently occurred in Palo Alto or surrounding cities.

Anyone with information about these suspects or this incident is asked to call the Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the department's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.

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