Palo Alto police are investigating a burglary of an occupied home that occurred earlier this month, where the unknown suspect also stole the resident’s car.
On Thursday, December 9, 2021, at about 10:12 a.m., the Palo Alto dispatch center received a call reporting a residential burglary and vehicle theft that had occurred earlier that morning at a home in the 2300 block of Middlefield Road.
The victim, a woman in her sixties, reported that she had gone to bed at about 3:30 a.m. and had noticed that her car was parked in her driveway at that time. At about 9:30 a.m., the victim went downstairs and discovered the rear door to her home was open. She saw that some closet doors were left open as well, and that her desktop computer had been unplugged. She then noticed that her car was no longer in the driveway, that the car keys were missing, and that a digital camera was gone as well.
The investigation revealed that the unknown suspect had entered the home via the rear door, which had been left unlocked. A check of neighboring homes for any available surveillance footage revealed that the victim’s vehicle was driven out of her driveway at 6:35 a.m. There is no available description of the suspect at this time.
The stolen vehicle is a light blue 2001 Toyota Prius with several bumper stickers on the rear bumper. As of the date and time of this release, the vehicle has not been located.
Residential burglaries of occupied homes are rare in Palo Alto, despite another one being reported on Saturday, November 27. This is the fourth such case in 2021. Detectives are investigating, but have no information connecting any of the crimes with one another.
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 are correspondingly reduced. If you have a side yard gate, police recommend putting a lock on it to prevent easy unauthorized access to your property. Police also recommend securing all windows and doors overnight. If you choose to hide a key outside your residence in the event you ever get locked out, recognize that involves a potential risk; as an alternative, consider leaving a spare house key with a trusted neighbor.