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Burglary of Occupied Home Occurs Overnight While Elderly Palo Alto Residents Were Sleeping!

News from the Palo Alto Police Department:

A burglar broke into a residence overnight  -- while an elderly couple slept -- and stole a briefcase of financial documents and rummaged through drawers in another room, and slipped away undetected.

No one was injured, and the suspect is at large.  

On Wednesday, July 9, at about 8:13 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a residential burglary that occurred at a home in the 4000 block of Villa Vista Avenue between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m., while the two residents in their 90s were asleep.  

The investigation revealed that the suspect likely hopped a locked side yard gate before forcibly removing a window screen over an unsecured window on the single-story home. 

The burglar stole a briefcase of financial documents from the office and rummaged through drawers in a guest bedroom.

Both residents remained asleep throughout the crime and were unaware that the burglar had been in their home until they awoke later in the morning.  

Detectives are actively investigating the case.

Overnight burglaries of occupied homes are rare in Palo Alto; the last time a similar incident occurred was in July 2012.  

Officers are increasing patrols in neighborhoods in response to this incident.

Police recommend that residents lock and secure doors and windows overnight (or use a dowel or other safety mechanism to prevent windows intentionally kept open for ventilation from being opened enough to allow a person to climb through easily).  

Residential burglaries, in general, have been on the decline.

Following a high of 226 reported cases in 2012 (the highest number since at least 2008), the number dropped to 131 in 2013. Thus far in 2014, including this crime, there have been 69.  

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.

Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously through our free mobile app (downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay. 

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