Palo Alto homeowner chases apparent burglar

Police: Suspect remains at large after Barron Park neighborhood incident Tuesday

Palo Alto police are looking for an alleged burglar who was chased by a homeowner after the suspect walked out of the front door of a home in the 3700 block of La Donna Avenue on Tuesday morning, according to police.

The incident happened at about 9:25 a.m. when the resident and his wife returned home from a walk and saw a man wearing a grey shirt, blue jeans and red hat leaving the home through the front door, police Sgt. Wayne Benitez said.

The homeowner asked the man what he was doing and the man replied, "Nothing." The suspect then ran off and the homeowner chased after him for about a block before stopping. The homeowner asked someone in a passing car to call police.

Officers searched the area, but were unable to locate the suspect, who is described as a Hispanic male, 15 to 20 years old, approximately 5 feet, 8 inches tall and 150 pounds.

The apparent burglar entered the home through a rear door by breaking the glass, Benitez said. Nothing was taken from the home, but it will cost $500 to fix the glass, he added.

Police warn residents of the dangers of citizen's arrests and advised not to chase after suspected criminals.

"Although I understand the emotional impact of seeing a suspect leaving your home, and the immediate impulse to apprehend the suspect for police, I would not recommend it," Benitez said.

"The best thing to do is to be a good witness for the police and try to remember as much detail about the suspect as possible, any associated vehicles or bicycles used by the suspect (especially the color of the vehicle or bike), or any strange vehicle in the area that was noticed."

Anyone with information about this incident or this suspect is asked to call the police department 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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