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Palo Alto Police: Serial Car Burglar Arrested

The suspect is being held on $350,000 bail for 27 felony charges.

Vernon Rayshaun Evans-Carmichael, booking photo. (Photo: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office)
Vernon Rayshaun Evans-Carmichael, booking photo. (Photo: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office)
[Editor's Note: The following was received from Palo Alto Police:]

Police have arrested a prolific auto burglar who targeted electronics left in unattended rental cars at restaurants. The suspect has since been charged with 27 felony counts of burglary and grand theft. 

The suspect, 22-year-old Vernon Rayshaun Evans-Carmichael of San Francisco, initially came to the attention of investigators following an auto burglary spree that occurred on the night of Monday, June 24, 2013, at the Stanford Shopping Center at 180 El Camino Real. That evening, at about 9:16 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call reporting an auto burglary in progress. A witness reported that the suspect had fled in a blue 2013 Ford Escape SUV, and they were able to provide a license plate. The vehicle was a rental car. Officers determined that five rental cars had been burglarized that night, all via window smash, and electronics such as laptops and tablet computers had been stolen from inside. 

While officers were not able to locate the suspect vehicle that night, detectives began follow-up investigation into who may have been driving the car. Eventually, detectives were able to identify Evans-Carmichael as the suspect, and obtained a felony warrant on October 3, 2013, charging him with 5 counts of auto burglary and 5 counts of grand theft (for the items taken from inside). The San Francisco Police Department arrested Evans-Carmichael on the warrant on October 22, but after he posted bail, he failed to appear at his arraignment and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. Detectives had been unable to locate Evans-Carmichael since that time. 

On the evening of Tuesday, January 14, 2014, nine window-smash auto burglaries occurred at the Fish Market, located at 3150 El Camino Real. Seven of those vehicles were rental cars. Electronics such as laptops and tablet computers were stolen. Investigators were able to identify information suggesting that Evans-Carmichael, who was still wanted on our warrant, may also be the suspect in these cases. 

On Thursday, January 16, 2014, at about noon, the Oakley Police Department located and arrested Evans-Carmichael in the 1300 block of Gamay Circle in Oakley (Contra Costa County) pursuant to the Palo Alto warrant. Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department took custody of him and booked him into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for the warrant and a probation violation. His booking photo from that arrest is attached to this release. Evans-Carmichael is on probation in San Francisco County stemming from a felony burglary conviction in San Francisco in 2012. 

Following the arrest, our detectives continued their investigation into several of our recent auto burglaries. On January 24, 2014, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office filed an additional 17 felony counts (including 10 counts of auto burglary and 7 counts of grand theft) against Evans-Carmichael. These counts covered not only the crimes that occurred at the Fish Market on January 14, but also a single window-smash auto burglary of a rental car that occurred on January 13 at Sundance the Steakhouse at 1921 El Camino Real. Evans-Carmichael remains in custody on $350,000 bail for 27 total felony charges. 

Despite this arrest, auto burglaries have continued, with eight reported on the evening of Thursday, January 23, all in downtown parking garages. Auto burglaries continue to be a regional trend on the rise, and are by no means specific to Palo Alto. In 2013, our officers investigated 409 auto burglary reports, the highest total since at least 2007. So far in 2014, we have already taken 47 auto burglary reports. 

We recommend that you take your valuables with you whenever possible, or at the very least, secure them out of sight prior to arriving at your destination. Leaving valuables in plain view is a sure way to attract the attention of burglar. Also, be sure to always lock your vehicle and close the windows when it is unattended. Properly secured cars will absolutely have a deterrent on some criminals. For more crime prevention tips, please visit our website at www.cityofpaloalto.org/StopCrime

An auto burglary is defined as a crime where a suspect breaks into a locked car with the intent to steal property from inside. Common stolen items include laptops, personal electronic devices, and miscellaneous personal property like backpacks, purses, and luggage. We encourage you to enable GPS-tracking security features on your portable electronic devices, and to familiarize yourself with how to use them. If your portable electronic device is stolen or lost and you are using a remote application to track its location, notify your local law enforcement agency immediately and do not take independent action to attempt to recover your property. 

An auto burglary, which takes place in only a matter of a few seconds, typically involves a smashed window or a door lock that is defeated by a punch tool. In some cases, crooks are smashing windows and using the trunk release to obtain property stored in the trunk, and that is why we recommend taking your valuables with you whenever possible. 

Our detectives continue to investigate our open auto burglary cases. Anyone with information about these auto burglaries, or Evans-Carmichael, is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed topaloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.


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