A resident got a clear view of a residential burglar as he left the scene of the crime yesterday morning, and worked with police to produce a sketch of the suspect.
On Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, at about 9:06 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a 9-1-1 call reporting a residential burglary that had just occurred in the 1000 block of Arrowhead Way.
Officers from the Palo Alto Police Department arrived within two minutes of being dispatched. They met with the victim and learned that she had left her home at 8:30 a.m. to run a quick errand.
She did not report seeing any suspicious people or vehicles in the area when she left. When she returned 20 minutes later, she saw that her home had been burglarized.
The investigation showed that when the victim returned home, she sat in her car in the driveway for a couple minutes on her phone. When she heard a car door slam, she looked around and noticed a man getting into the driver’s seat of a car parked on the street nearby.
The victim did not see where he had come from. The man made eye contact with her before she returned to her phone. A few seconds later, she looked up and again made eye contact with the man, who was now staring at her. She got out of her car, at which point he drove away at a high rate of speed.
The victim walked to her front door, and noted that it was unlocked. She recalled locking the door when she had left. Once she went inside, she saw that things had been moved and that two items (a tablet computer and a gaming console) had been stolen.
Officers checked the home, and determined that the suspect had entered a side yard gate, removed a screen, and climbed into the home through an open bathroom window. It appears as though the suspect left through the front door of the house. It is possible that the suspect heard the victim’s car pull up while he was still inside, causing him to leave.
The victim described the suspect as a white male between 20 and 35 years of age with a fair complexion and a medium build. He had short blonde hair, no facial hair, and no earrings.
The victim described the suspect’s vehicle as a black four-door BMW sedan. The victim last saw the suspect vehicle speeding southbound on Aztec Way from Arrowhead Way.
Police encourage residents to always close and lock doors and windows whenever they are out, and to lock side yard gates. The Palo Alto Police Department’s website has a section on crime prevention tips on the city of Palo Alto's website.
There are pages on security, recognizing suspicious behavior, being a good witness, and more. We also encourage you to visit our new social media connections page at www.cityofpaloalto.org/PAPDconnect for links to our accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Nixle, and rBlock. We routinely publish news releases, traffic advisories, crime prevention tips, photos, and more.
Residents are encouraged to call 9-1-1 to report suspicious behavior, and allow the police to investigate if that behavior is innocent or criminal. It is always better to call and let the police do their job, rather than rationalize suspicious behavior and not call.
Anyone having information about this burglary, or anyone who recognizes the suspect depicted in the sketch, can contact our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.