Burglars who broke into Palo Alto home captured on video


Palo Alto police are looking for two men who allegedly broke into a home on Tuesday, Nov. 18, according to a police department press release. The break-in was captured on a resident's video surveillance system.

At about 6:42 p.m., the police dispatch center received a report of a burglary that occurred at a townhouse in the 1000 block of Tanland Drive, at about 5:55 p.m. A video system had recorded the burglars until one of them noticed the camera and disabled it.

Investigators said no one was at the home at the time of the break-in, and a review of the video shows that the two men forcibly entered the front door with a crowbar. One of them walked upstairs to steal valuables, while the other stood by the front door. The man stationed by the front door noticed the video camera and ripped it out of the wall, but the camera had already uploaded the video to a cloud server. In addition to the camera, the men stole a laptop, computer and jewelry. Two pet cats inside the home were unharmed.

The men -- both Hispanic males in their 30s and approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall with medium builds -- appeared to have mustaches and goatees and were wearing eyeglasses and light-colored hats. One was wearing a light-colored, zip-front jacket and jeans while the other was wearing a light-colored, long sleeved pullover shirt and long pants.

The video can be viewed here.

There have been 107 residential burglaries reported in Palo Alto so far this year. This is down from 131 in 2013 and 226 in 2012.

Police encourage people to call 911 to report suspicious behavior. Crime prevention tips are available on the City of Palo Alto website.

Police are asking that anyone who has information pertaining to this case or who recognizes the men to call the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to or sent via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.

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2 people like this
Posted by Barry
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 19, 2014 at 5:35 pm

[Post removed.]

5 people like this
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 19, 2014 at 6:03 pm

If only cats could bark.

2 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Video wasn't all that clear. Hopefully some single frames can be enlarged to provide a clearer picture of these guys.

If the cops catch these guys--then maybe this video was helpful. But it's clear that the camera was readily detected and disabled. Seems the hiding the cameras would be a better approach. Also would pay to have the cameras on a battery feed, since it doesn't take much to flip the breakers on many homes.

Also would be a good idea to have the storage unit at a little distance from the cameras.

Lastly--the Palo Alto Police have not mentioned their use of the FBI's facial recognition database. Hard to tell if this video would provide a good enough face shoot to compare with the FBI's data, but it would pay for people to install these surveillance systems so that clean facials can be obtained for the police.

Like this comment
Posted by paulsimon99
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 20, 2014 at 11:12 am

paulsimon99 is a registered user.

Surveillance camera helps if without the costs of equipment, setup hassle and fees. I hope everyone can use a home alarm to capture intruders but it needs to be free. Many may find useful.

2 people like this
Posted by True Blue
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 20, 2014 at 11:32 pm

True Blue is a registered user.

I find it odd that this conversation was locked after only three posts. The rest of the City is discussing it on and YouTube.

The video stirred two emotions in me: 1) the burglars seemed tentative, they seemed like they wanted to be sure no one was home. (good!) 2) If that was my home I would completely flip seeing these guys invade my home.

Thank you PAPD for sharing this video, and thank you to the home-owner for allowing it to be shared. This video brought home the reality of a burglary that could not be understood any other way.

I pray the home-owner recovers their stolen property, but even more I pray they recover their sense of safety and security.

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

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