Second prowling incident reported in Palo Alto

Man spotted outside downtown residence Tuesday night

Palo Alto police are looking for a man who was reportedly lurking outside a private residence early Tuesday morning, the second prowling incident to occur in the city in the past week.

Officers learned about the incident shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday, when they received a call from a resident on the 200 block of Emerson Street reporting that a stranger had just been on her private property. Police responded with a police canine but were unable to find the man.

Police said the resident, a woman, was asleep in her bed when she was roused by a barking dog next door. She told the police that she heard a soft sound at one of her bedroom windows and thought she saw a silhouette of a person standing outside.

About 30 seconds later, she heard a very loud sound at another bedroom window and thought someone may have been banging on the screen, police said. She then got out of bed, opened the blinds and looked outside the window.

She saw a face right outside the window, staring at her, and immediately called the police.

The victim described the prowler as a white male, though because of darkness she could not offer a more complete description. Police are trying to determine whether the Tuesday prowling is related to a separate incident that occurred on the 1000 block of Moffett Circle last Wednesday. In that case, a 14-year-old girl spotted a prowler in her backyard, according to the police. She described the man as a light-skinned male with dark hair, about 6 feet tall with a skinny build and wearing dark clothing.

Police ask that anyone who sees or hears suspicious behavior to immediately dial 911. Anyone with information about either incident 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 voicemail to 650-383-8984.

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