Palo Alto police are investigating an overnight burglary that occurred on Wednesday morning at a home while the resident slept.
Officers responded to a call at about 8:59 a.m. on Sept. 21 regarding a burglary that occurred in the 700 block of University Avenue. The occupant, a man in his 40s, had gone to bed around midnight. When he awoke at around 8 a.m. he found that several pieces of his property were missing, including a laptop computer, AirPods, a non-recording interior surveillance camera, and a car key.
Most of the items had been on a desk next to a sliding glass door and would have been visible from a common area outside the residence, police said. The resident thought he might not have locked the sliding glass door before going to bed, he told police.
Officers responded to another call at about 5:22 p.m regarding property that a resident found in the side yard of their home in the 700 block of Hamilton Avenue. The location is about a block south of the burglary. The resident found the missing laptop, AirPods and a surveillance camera wrapped in a cloth. Two flashlights and burglary tools were also found nearby. Officers are now processing those items for evidence, police said. The car key remains missing.
The burglar might have been casing other homes to burglarize and stashed the stolen items and burglary tools while planning to return later, police said in the press release.
Police say there is no evidence at this time connecting Wednesday's crime to a Sept. 18 residential burglary in the 600 block of Lowell Avenue. In that crime, three men kicked in a side door of a residence but were scared off by a burglar alarm. No one was home at the time.
Residential burglaries of occupied homes are rare in Palo Alto, police stated. Most residential burglars commit their crimes during the day, when homes are more likely to be unoccupied and the chance of a confrontation with a resident is lower.
The department recommends that residents put a lock on side gates to prevent easy access. Residents should also secure all windows and doors overnight. Hiding a key outside a residence involves a potential risk; as an alternative, the department suggests leaving a spare house key with a trusted neighbor, the department advised.
More crime prevention tips can be found on the department's Crime Prevention Tips page. Anyone with information about this incident 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.