News

Thirty-five firearms stolen from garage of Palo Alto home

Police release image of vehicle possibly connected to overnight burglary

Investigators have released an image of a vehicle possibly connected to an overnight burglary in Palo Alto that was reported on April 27, 2021. Courtesy Palo Alto Police Department.

Four gun security cabinets carrying 35 firearms were stolen from the garage of a Palo Alto home early Tuesday morning while a family of four slept inside the residence, police said.

Police said the garage was unlocked, which is likely how the suspect, or suspects, gained access. The burglary, which took place in the 700 block of Garland Drive, about a block away from the intersection of Middlefield Road and Oregon Expressway, was reported to police dispatch around 6:45 a.m. Tuesday soon after it was discovered, police said in a press release issued Thursday.

One of the four residents, a man in his 50s, told police that a majority of the 35 firearms were shotguns and rifles, police said. Two pistols were also taken from the home. No ammunition was stolen.

Most of the stolen items were either heirlooms or used for hunting, according to police. Of the four cabinets, three were locked and the fourth had an old lock that was known to malfunction.

"The weapons were all unloaded and registered as required by applicable laws," the release states.

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There were no signs that the suspect or suspects had entered or tried to enter the home, according to police.

Footage from surveillance systems of neighboring homes showed a possible vehicle connected to the burglary in the area of the resident's home shortly before 4:30 a.m., police said.

"The rear door on the driver's side was left open as (the vehicle) drove away from the home, as if being prevented from closing by something sticking out," the release states.

The resident told investigators that the vehicle looked too small to transport all the cabinets. It's possible multiple cars were used in the burglary or that one vehicle made multiple trips, police said.

Anyone with information about the burglary 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.

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Thirty-five firearms stolen from garage of Palo Alto home

Police release image of vehicle possibly connected to overnight burglary

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Apr 29, 2021, 7:28 pm
Updated: Fri, Apr 30, 2021, 11:49 am

Four gun security cabinets carrying 35 firearms were stolen from the garage of a Palo Alto home early Tuesday morning while a family of four slept inside the residence, police said.

Police said the garage was unlocked, which is likely how the suspect, or suspects, gained access. The burglary, which took place in the 700 block of Garland Drive, about a block away from the intersection of Middlefield Road and Oregon Expressway, was reported to police dispatch around 6:45 a.m. Tuesday soon after it was discovered, police said in a press release issued Thursday.

One of the four residents, a man in his 50s, told police that a majority of the 35 firearms were shotguns and rifles, police said. Two pistols were also taken from the home. No ammunition was stolen.

Most of the stolen items were either heirlooms or used for hunting, according to police. Of the four cabinets, three were locked and the fourth had an old lock that was known to malfunction.

"The weapons were all unloaded and registered as required by applicable laws," the release states.

There were no signs that the suspect or suspects had entered or tried to enter the home, according to police.

Footage from surveillance systems of neighboring homes showed a possible vehicle connected to the burglary in the area of the resident's home shortly before 4:30 a.m., police said.

"The rear door on the driver's side was left open as (the vehicle) drove away from the home, as if being prevented from closing by something sticking out," the release states.

The resident told investigators that the vehicle looked too small to transport all the cabinets. It's possible multiple cars were used in the burglary or that one vehicle made multiple trips, police said.

Anyone with information about the burglary 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.

Comments

Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2021 at 8:17 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 29, 2021 at 8:17 pm

Why are gun cabinets that are so easily moveable kept in an unlocked garage?


felix
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2021 at 11:06 pm
felix, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 29, 2021 at 11:06 pm

How is there no indication suspects tried or had entered the home, yet 2 firearms were stolen from inside the house?

The guns were not stored safely and are now in criminal hands, so our whole community is endangered. That’s just great.

[Portion removed.]


Neal
Registered user
Community Center
on Apr 30, 2021 at 6:58 am
Neal, Community Center
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 6:58 am

Don/t blame the victim.


Local Resident
Registered user
Community Center
on Apr 30, 2021 at 10:21 am
Local Resident, Community Center
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 10:21 am

The garage should have been locked. Just sayin...


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Apr 30, 2021 at 10:50 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 10:50 am

An experienced thief can easily get around a locked garage door in less than a minute. I have no desire to own a gun, but I agree with don't blame the victim. The guns were registered and unloaded, and anyone could be a burglary victim.


community member
Registered user
University South
on Apr 30, 2021 at 11:05 am
community member, University South
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 11:05 am

A neighbor who has 35 guns isn't a typical victim.
It's uncivilized to value instruments whose only use is to kill.
Hunting is killing, just for fun.
[Portion removed.]


Observer
Registered user
Greater Miranda
on Apr 30, 2021 at 11:27 am
Observer, Greater Miranda
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 11:27 am

If the guns include heirlooms of even modest value, it seems like safer storage should have been arranged. But it is obvious that the person(s) who stole the cabinets had advance knowledge they were there, especially if multiple vehicles were involved. The victim might want to think about who was aware of them. The person(s) clearly didn't stumble on them accidentally in the middle of a burglary. I lived for 30+ years in the vicinity of the theft, and never knew that such a cache of weapons was nearby, and maintained by someone who was clueless about how to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. [Portion removed.]


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Apr 30, 2021 at 12:08 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 12:08 pm

Questioning why someone would have that many guns is understandable. Blaming the victim marginalizes the survivor, minimizes the criminal act, and makes people less likely to come forward and report what has happened to them.

I might feel uneasy living near someone that owned that many guns, but I mind my own business when it comes to my neighbors. Guns might get you targeted. but you could say the same regarding driving a luxury vehicle, wearing designer clothes, carrying a designer purse, carrying a lot of cash or wearing a Rolex watch. That would never happen in the area, right?


Local news junkie
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Apr 30, 2021 at 12:17 pm
Local news junkie, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 12:17 pm

It’s a fact: Lot of people own guns, even in Palo Alto. (I live with one of them, who just uses his guns for target practice at a shooting range. And he locks them all up, according to the law.) I have no interest in guns whatsoever, but wouldn’t blame the victim in this case.


NRA Member
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2021 at 12:53 pm
NRA Member, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 12:53 pm

Gun safety locks are as important as the firearms themselves and all weaponry and ammunition should be securely locked to discourage theft and misuse.

That said, owning 35 firearms is no different than someone collecting 35 coins, 35 samurai swords, 35 guitars or 35 wristwatches.

Though it is not permitted in California, New York, Illinois or Washington D.C., open carry is permitted in 47 states and not surprisingly, the overall crime rate is lower.

The discharge of firearms in self-defense is a legitimate option and in the state of Indiana, it ialso legal to shoot a police officer in self-defense.

Web Link

And while open carry might seem like reckless endangerment to some, it should also be noted that in states with this provision, carrying a firearm and/or discharging one while intoxicated OR shooting someone in the back are FELONIES that carry heavy prison sentencing. And as a result, folks who pack heat do so with a sense of discretion.

Lastly, in terms of shooting someone in the back, only the police have that option but this practice is now being held to further scrutiny.

The bottom line is that in lieu of restrictions, responsible gun ownership is what the nation should be striving towards.


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2021 at 1:20 pm
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 1:20 pm

The garage was unlocked. One gun cabinet lock was known to fail. And WHY was a garage used for gun storage of so many guns? I'm sorry, but that is just careless. I do blame the victim for not implementing better security--especially with that many guns in storage. Now our community has to contend with 35 guns in the hands of an unknown criminal.

Do we need gun control? Yes. Do we need gun storage control? Yes.


What Will They Do Next
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 30, 2021 at 3:48 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 3:48 pm

This topic would have much more community dialogue if Palo Alto Online went back to it's previous commentary format. Has anyone else noticed that article comments have hardly any participation these days?

It's almost impossible to engage when the process has been purposely changed to discourage debate among readers.


It's Just Ugly
Registered user
Palo Verde School
on Apr 30, 2021 at 3:52 pm
It's Just Ugly, Palo Verde School
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 3:52 pm

35 guns may be an unhealthy obsession for someone living in a dense suburban neighborhood.

I am not buying that collecting 35 guns is the same as collecting coins, stamps, or beanie babies.

Coins, stamps, and beanie babies cannot be used to kill another human. (ok...well maybe not beanie babies...clearly in the wrong hands, those things were lethal)


What Will They Do Next
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 30, 2021 at 4:00 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 4:00 pm

@ It's just ugly ... people collect cars and don't drive them. People collect coins and don't spend them. People collect stamps and don't use them to mail letters. I could go on but other collectible categories were posted above.

The guns were unloaded and locked in security cabinets. Apparently the ammunition was stored similarly or or in another part of the home. Sounds pretty responsible to me.


Game Over
Registered user
another community
on Apr 30, 2021 at 5:47 pm
Game Over, another community
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 5:47 pm

The victim of this unfortunate burglary has the right to keep and own as many firearms as he wishes providing they are not illegal weapons.

But he also has the responsibility to secure them safely and out of harm's way.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 30, 2021 at 6:52 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 6:52 pm

This is truly terrifying. If four fire arms cabinets with 35 firearms were stolen this easily , a child or teen from this family of four or known associates of this family could have “broken” in and taken them . This is a gross testament to how easily it is to get a hold of 35 firearms (rifles etc) of the estimated 300 million in the hands of American citizens. I am extremely concerned and pray the FBI is on this theft. Yes prayers and thoughts. Sounds like an inside job. Legally registered. Yet are they insured too??? BTW ammo is not that difficult to secure.


Michelle
Registered user
Stanford
on May 1, 2021 at 7:58 am
Michelle, Stanford
Registered user
on May 1, 2021 at 7:58 am

Very troubling to know that a house in condensed Palo Alto, a few streets away from Jordan middle school, had so many unlocked weapons.


CalAveLocal
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on May 1, 2021 at 7:58 am
CalAveLocal, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on May 1, 2021 at 7:58 am

I do not want to blame the victim of this burglary, they have suffered a loss of their property and I am very sorry for them regarding that.
Having said that, this is not responsible gun ownership in the least, and that is a serious problem as well. And to add to that - location is extremely close to 2 middle schools with middle school students walking by there possibly on a daily basis. Seeing is guns were in an unlocked garage and while locked in their boxes, at least one box had a "malfunctioning" lock - its not too far to make a guess that some kid was walking by it and saw the owner(s) playing with their private property in their garage with the door open. This is the absolute most horrifying thought to me. We've had so many issues with mental health and suicide of our students here; giving them a possibility of stealing an easily assessable gun... thats just awful.

(and the difference between collecting 35 stamps and 35 guns is, well, gun's sole purpose is to kill things. At least samurai swords could potentially be used to chop carrots)


Local Resident
Registered user
Community Center
on May 1, 2021 at 12:57 pm
Local Resident, Community Center
Registered user
on May 1, 2021 at 12:57 pm

This sounds like the robber(s) had prior knowledge the guns were stored there.

Also, I wouldn't call leaving firearms in an unlocked garage overnight "Responsible Gun Ownership". There is a good chance some of those firearms will be used in crimes and may even be used to kill someone. The lack of care has consequences. The idea that because an trained person can pick a lock in a minute thus locks are meaningless is a theoretical rather than practical argument, because in practice locks will stop most people.


Lala
Registered user
Menlo Park
on May 1, 2021 at 5:23 pm
Lala, Menlo Park
Registered user
on May 1, 2021 at 5:23 pm

I feel sad for the burglary victims. They probably feel violated, and they have additional emotional burden to go through their list of anyone who had access to the house before. More importantly - emotional burden knowing that the guns could be used while commiting a crime. Or many crimes..

Having said that. I bought a gun safe from Costco not to use it for guns, but as a fire and burglary resistant safe for important documents. It is bolted to the foundation, per instructions, and the locking system is solid. I did go through a lot of effort to safeguard my daughter's first onsie and family photos from early 1900s.

It is incomprehensible to me that anyone would not apply same, or higher, level of protection for lethal weapons. The real victims are the people who would be assaulted and harmed using these weapons. This is irresponsible and uncivil. I don't care whether they had one gun, 35, or 135. They need to be secured.


Anonymous
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on May 5, 2021 at 8:54 am
Anonymous, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on May 5, 2021 at 8:54 am

The negligence of the victim resulted in arming criminals, and endangering all of us. I don't think it's 'victim blaming' to discuss how the selling off of a gun cache to criminals affects us all. It's also very transparent to try and prohibit the use of the term 'victim blaming' because of its left leaning usage for victims of rape and abuse. The public danger cause by the loss of the guns is very distinguishable from 'victim blaming' in case of rape and abuse.


Chris Zaharias
Registered user
another community
on May 6, 2021 at 11:45 am
Chris Zaharias, another community
Registered user
on May 6, 2021 at 11:45 am

Gangs need guns for protection and to control their turf.
Turfs are areas in which they sell drugs to customers.
Drug users give gangs the economic incentive to own guns.

Palo Alto and nearby cities have sky-high rates of illicit prescription and Schedule I drug use.

Either legalize all drugs, or [better IMHO] try to help those you know stop using them.


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