Palo Alto police arrested four people believed to be involved in auto burglaries in Palo Alto and Milpitas on Monday afternoon, Jan. 25, according to a police department press release.
At about 11 a.m., the Milpitas Police Department notified surrounding law enforcement agencies about two auto burglaries that had occurred in their city. The bulletin included the description and license plate of the vehicle involved in the burglaries: a red 2013 Toyota Corolla.
Palo Alto police detectives in unmarked cars began patrolling areas in Palo Alto commonly targeted by auto burglars, according to the press release. At about 12:16 p.m., detectives located the suspect vehicle in the parking lot of the Town & Country Shopping Center on El Camino Real.
According to police, two suspects were in the car, which was driving slowly through the parking lot, and two others were walking nearby, looking into parked vehicles. As the detectives were observing, the two suspects walking got back into the car. When police officers in marked vehicles arrived to the shopping center, they stopped the car in the parking lot to investigate, police said.
A short time after being stopped, three of the four suspects fled in different directions on foot. Officers chased after them and arrested all three nearby without incident, police said. The officers and suspects were not injured during the arrests.
Investigators said the suspects, later identified as 29-year-old Jon Anthony Hamilton, of Richmond, 21-year-old LeRan Hamilton, of Richmond, 26-year-old Allen Barker Jr., of Richmond, and 27-year-old DaJuan Dasheem Blackwell, of Hayward, were in possession of a laptop stolen in one of the burglaries that took place in Milpitas that morning.
The four also had other stolen property in the car that detectives believe may have been stolen from vehicles in other cities, including two laptops and other miscellaneous items, police said. The identification of those items are still pending, police said. The Palo Alto Police Department is working with other law enforcement agencies to determine if the four are connected to other burglaries in the area.
During a follow-up investigation, detectives determined that Jon Anthony Hamilton and LeRan Hamilton were allegedly responsible for three auto burglaries that occurred on Thursday, Jan. 21, in Palo Alto. In those cases, the windows of parked cars near restaurants along El Camino were smashed and items were taken, including electronic devices and clothing items, police said. The stolen items have not be recovered.
Jon Anthony Hamilton, LeRan Hamilton, Barker and Blackwell were booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for two felony counts of auto burglary for the break-ins in Milpitas and one felony count of conspiracy. Jon Anthony Hamilton was also booked for three more felony counts of auto burglary for the break-ins in Palo Alto on Jan. 21, a felony enhancement for committing a felony while out on bail, and misdemeanor resisting arrest.
LeRan Hamilton was also booked for three more felony counts of auto burglary for the thefts in Palo Alto on Jan. 21, misdemeanor possession of burglary tools (a window punch) and misdemeanor resisting arrest.
Barker was also booked for misdemeanor resisting arrest and providing false information to police (Barker initially lied to police about his identity), also a misdemeanor.
Blackwell was additionally booked for a felony parole violation. He is on parole for burglary and narcotics sales, police said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police department's 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.
Police remind residents to never leave valuables in the car and always lock car doors.