A man who allegedly burglarized two homes in Palo Alto's College Terrace neighborhood was arrested on Wednesday morning, Nov. 11, police said in a statement released on Friday afternoon, Nov. 13. Detectives are investigating whether he and another man are connected to a series of early-morning burglaries in the city that occurred in October while residents were at home. The second person remains at large, police said.
On Tuesday, police responded to a residential burglary call at about 7:54 a.m. A woman in her 30s discovered two bicycles missing from her garage in the 2300 block of Cornell Street. Home surveillance cameras captured two males attempting to pry open her garage door at 4:07 a.m. When they were unsuccessful, they pried open a side door leading into the garage and stole the bicycles. The woman had been asleep at the time. The men did not enter the main residence.
Officers discovered video footage captured on a neighbor’s surveillance camera of the men arriving and leaving in a white pickup truck. Police located two bicycles abandoned on the sidewalk a few houses away. One of the bicycles belonged to the woman and the other bicycle had been stolen from the Stanford University campus earlier in the day.
Police also responded to a second call at about 8:10 a.m. regarding a white 2010 GMC Sierra C1500 truck, which had been stolen overnight between midnight and 6:40 a.m. in the 2000 block of Amherst Street. The stolen truck matched the one seen on the surveillance video being driven by the alleged burglars, police said.
Then on Wednesday, at about 6:29 a.m., police responded to a suspicious circumstance call at a residence in the 2300 block of Cornell Street — just down the street from the home burglarized the prior morning. The resident, a woman in her 50s, reported that the burglar alarm on a second home at the rear of her property had been activated, and she had seen a man in her backyard flee. Responding officers found the door to the rear house was open. The second residence, which was under construction, contained three bicycles and miscellaneous property. Police suspect the intruder left after triggering the alarm and did not take anything.
An officer searching the area located the stolen GMC Sierra parked and unoccupied nearby in the 1300 block of California Avenue. The hood was warm, indicating someone had recently driven the vehicle, police said. They returned the truck to its owners after processing it for evidence.
Meanwhile, a neighbor's surveillance camera captured footage of the alleged burglar leaving the area on a bicycle. Officers located a man sitting on a bus bench next to a bicycle in the 3000 block of Hansen Way at about 7:20 a.m. and detained him without incident. He matched the description of one of the men from the burglary on Tuesday morning. The 31-year-old man from San Jose was on active probation in Santa Clara County for vehicle theft and narcotics possession. Officers found methamphetamine, narcotics paraphernalia, and burglary tools in his possession. The bicycle he had at the time of his arrest had been stolen from the Stanford campus earlier in the day, police later discovered.
He was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of two counts of residential burglary, possession of stolen property, probation violation, which are all felonies, plus three misdemeanors: possession of methamphetamine, narcotics paraphernalia, and burglary tools.
Detectives are continuing to investigate these cases and seek to identify the second suspect, whose image was captured from the Tuesday morning burglary. They are also examining if any
evidence connects either man to the stolen vehicle case or other burglaries or bicycle thefts, including the series of home burglaries while residents were asleep in October.
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] 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.