A burglar who found a bed in a Palo Alto residence "just right" for sleeping in became the target of an all-out search by Palo Alto police on Dec. 30.
In a separate incident, officers arrested a man sleeping in a child's playhouse at another home on Dec. 31, police said.
The first "Goldilocks" intruder was discovered asleep in a bedroom on the 200 block of Middlefield Road by a house-sitter, police Agent Marianna Villaescusa said.
The sitter found the man upon entering the home, which was his daughter's. The house-sitter and the man had a five-minute conversation before the intruder fled. The house-sitter then called police at 9:02 p.m., police said.
Officers found a box with items from the residence they think the burglar planned to steal. The burglar had entered the home by breaking a window at the rear of the residence. The man is described as a white male in his 20s with a goatee. He wore bluish-green sweatpants and a possible white T-shirt.
In a separate incident on Dec. 31, residents at a home in the 600 block of Everett Avenue -- just blocks from the Dec. 30 incident -- called police at 9 a.m. regarding a suspicious circumstance. Police found a man sleeping in a child's playhouse. They arrested Jason Heinz, 26, of San Pablo. Heinz was booked in Santa Clara County Jail for being under the influence of a controlled substance and for prowling, Sgt. Craig Lee said.
Detectives are still investigating whether the two cases are linked, Lt. Zach Perron said.
In the Middlefield Road incident, Palo Alto police searched for the burglar using multiple methods, but they could not locate him. They set up a perimeter from Palo Alto and Woodland avenues to University Avenue and searched an area that included Hawthorne Avenue, Middlefield, Byron, Guinda and Chaucer streets, according to radio dispatches.
Police brought in K-9 units to pick up the man's trail and used night-vision goggles and hand-held heat sensors. They requested a California Highway Patrol helicopter, but high winds prevented the chopper from takeoff, according to radio dispatches.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.
For more about how police search for suspects, read an interview with Ken Dueker, Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services director.