Late last month, Palo Alto police arrested a man for breaking into a car in downtown Palo Alto and stealing several items inside. They are now working to determine if he is connected to any other auto burglaries that have taken place in Palo Alto or surrounding cities.
In a press release issued Sunday, police said an "alert passerby" called police on Saturday, April 29, at about 8 a.m. after witnessing the car burglary. The witness saw the man police later arrested, 51-year-old Jesse Aldan of San Francisco, allegedly use something (later determined to be a rock) to break the window of an unoccupied 2014 BMW 320i sedan that had been parked in the 400 block of High Street. The witness told police Aldan reached into the broken window and took a duffle bag that was inside the car.
The witness followed him around the corner, watched as he took several items out of the duffle bag, discard the bag and ride away on a bicycle, according to police. The witness picked up the duffle bag and called police, providing a description of the man.
Officers responded to the area and found Aldan a short time later riding his bicycle northbound on El Camino Real, the press release states. Officers detained him without incident in a parking lot on El Camino Real at Roble Avenue in Menlo Park.
Officers located the stolen items — jewelry, earrings, sunglasses, reading glasses and a credit card — in Aldan's pockets and backpack. Police said they also recovered the rest of the items from the discarded duffle bag, which included clothes, shoes and a purse. Police contacted the car's owner and returned all of the stolen property directly to her.
Police said officers determined Aldan was on parole stemming from a prior conviction of burglary in San Francisco. During a parole search of his belongings, police found methamphetamine, narcotics smoking paraphernalia, and burglary tools (a window punch, a file, a multi-tool, and pliers). Officers also determined he was under the influence of narcotics.
Aldan was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for two felonies, auto burglary and possession of stolen property, as well as being under the influence of narcotics and being in possession of narcotics, burglary tools, and narcotics smoking paraphernalia (all misdemeanors). Police also booked him for a felony parole violation.
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. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the department's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.