Palo Alto police arrest rooftop prowler

Man tries to steal bicycle wheels, flees to rooftop

Palo Alto police arrested Eric Thomas Schmidt, a 30-year-old San Jose resident, on Friday, Aug. 14, after he allegedly attempted to steal bicycles wheels from inside the carport of a College Terrace neighborhood home and fled to a nearby rooftop.

The dispatch center received a call on Friday around 2 p.m. from a resident on the 600 block of Stanford Avenue reporting a prowler in her carport, a police press release states. Upon being seen by the resident, Schmidt allegedly fled and climbed an adjacent fence, police said. Officers responded and searched the area, but did not find him.

Then a call came in from a resident in the 500 block of Oxford Avenue reporting that he had seen a man in his backyard, according to police. Officers then spotted Thomas, who matched the suspect's description, a short while later hiding on a residential roof back on the 600 block of Stanford. He was cited and released on one count of prowling and one count of petty theft.

After an investigation, police determined that Schmidt allegedly removed the wheels of the bike but was confronted before he could take them.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly named the suspect as Eric Thomas. The correct name, which is stated in the Palo Alto Police Department news release, is Eric Thomas Schmidt.

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6 people like this
Posted by death to bike thieves
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 17, 2015 at 7:58 pm

Were the bicycle wheels attached to a bicycle when the thief stole them? Was he thwarted by a good bicycle lock? How about posting a mug shot? This article could have been so much more useful if it included some basic information about what happened.

2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 17, 2015 at 9:36 pm

PAPD report says Schmidt is the suspect's surname.

1 person likes this
Posted by Brenna Malmberg
associate editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Aug 17, 2015 at 9:57 pm

Brenna Malmberg is a registered user.

musical, you are correct. The story has been updated. Thank you.

1 person likes this
Posted by Carrie
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 18, 2015 at 7:05 am

Should have taken a pot shot at him and scared the hell out of him. Maybe he won't come back again.

15 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 18, 2015 at 11:32 am

I don't think the police taking pot shots is good for anyone.

1 person likes this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 18, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

Interesting comments on Nextdoor by PAPD - the guy was cited and released. If you want to know why so many bikes are stolen, the city is soft on crime.

"The suspect's behavior didn't meet the legal elements of resisting arrest, as he fled before our arrival and he complied with all of the officers' directions once he was located. The crimes for which he was arrested are misdemeanors, which are frequently addressed with a criminal citation. He is still required to go to court and would receive the same penalties upon conviction."

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

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