Palo Alto woman scares off intruder during attempted home burglary

Suspect posed as a construction worker looking for a job, police said

A burglar who posed as a construction worker and tried to enter a guest house in Midtown on Monday morning left empty handed after a woman who was sleeping in the house woke up and scared him away, police said.

Palo Alto police received a call at about 9:30 a.m. from a woman in her 40s reporting that a prowler had entered the backyard of a home on the 3200 block of Maddux Drive about 45 minutes earlier, police said. Officers responded but could not find the man.

Police said the woman was sleeping inside the guest house, which is located in the backyard, when a man opened the unlocked sliding glass door to the residence and poked his head inside. When the woman asked who was there, the man said he was a concrete worker looking for employment. The woman yelled, and the man left the residence, police said.

Investigators said the man gained entry to the backyard through an unlocked side-yard gate. He is described as a clean-shaven Pacific Islander male, approximately 55 to 65 years old, with medium-length grey hair. No suspect sketch is available, police said.

Police said there were no other reported burglaries in the neighborhood on Monday. While there were some reported overnight thefts from unlocked vehicles in the area last week, officers do not believe this case is related to those crimes.

Residents are encouraged by the police to promptly report suspicious activity by calling 911 and to always close and lock doors, windows and side-yard gates.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police department's dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to or sent by text or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

Related content:

Palo Alto woman scares off late-night burglar

Burglar steals from Palo Alto home while residents sleep

Elderly couple's home burglarized while they slept

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4 people like this
Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 20, 2015 at 10:50 am

Well, this has become alarmingly commonplace! Palo Alto has become quite the target to the entitled criminal element.

1 person likes this
Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2015 at 12:10 pm

So happy nothing happened to the person in the guest house. With regard to the frequency of burglaries and burglary attempts, I will quote Willie Sutton who said he robbed banks because "That's where the money is." Anyone who can afford to live in Palo Alto is assumed to be very well off.

2 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 20, 2015 at 12:23 pm

I think people are very aware of the type of activity that is occurring in the city due to social media and on-line type discussions. That is good so that people exercise more care on securing their homes when away.

We do not live in a cocoon where everything happens to "other people" and "other countries". All parts of the country are vulnerable and we are now living in a time when there is less police force due to funding issues - aka spending on the wrong things.

I think there needs to be a clearer set of priorities as to how taxpayer funds are spent. Lots of agendas out there at the state, county, and city level that may not be the wisest choice.

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

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