Two men who were caught allegedly burglarizing two cars at a downtown Palo Alto parking garage were arrested late last week with help from a witness who notified authorities of the break-ins as they unfolded, police said Wednesday.
The witness called police dispatch to report an auto burglary in progress at the 445 Bryant St. parking garage shortly after 9:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a police press release. The structure is between Lytton and University avenues, near Joya Restaurant and Lounge and Cogswell Plaza. She told a dispatcher that she saw two males peer into cars, then heard glass break and the sound of running.
Officers were able to stop two men leaving the parking structure who matched the descriptions provided by the witness, according to police. They also found two vehicles in the garage with smashed windows.
Police found a backpack taken from one of the vehicles in the garage stairwell and returned it to its owner; a second backpack that belonged to another burglary victim was discarded in the area, police said.
The 18-year-olds, each arrested for alleged auto burglary and conspiracy to commit auto burglary, were booked into Santa Clara County jail.
In light of the smash-and-grab burglaries, police are warning the public of the dangers in keeping their valuables in their car, where thieves are known to look inside for items left in plain view. Drivers also are advised to lock their vehicles and roll up their windows as precautions.
Police also have cautioned the public of the risk in placing their valuables in their trunk, where thieves can smash a window to push the trunk release and hunt for property.
Anyone with information about Thursday's break-ins is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.
Editor's note: The Weekly's policy is to withhold the names of those arrested for most crimes until the District Attorney has determined there is sufficient evidence to file charges in the case. See our guidelines here.