Burglars who smashed a glass door to get into a Crescent Park home left empty-handed on Saturday, Nov. 27, after they apparently found the home was occupied, Palo Alto police stated in a press release on Monday afternoon.
The 5 a.m. burglary occurred in the first block of Crescent Drive. A resident in her 70s was inside an upstairs study when she heard a loud noise, which she initially thought could have been the heater turning on. She heard footsteps in the second-floor hallway and assumed it was a family member, she told police.
The woman's husband went downstairs at about 6 a.m. and discovered the glass of one of the home's locked rear doors had been shattered. The couple then notified the police. The intruders had cut through a screen door and broke through the glass door to enter the home. Police found two sets of footprints in the upstairs hallway.
The female resident reported nothing had been stolen or disturbed inside the home. It's likely the burglars fled once they realized someone was at home, police stated. The residents never saw the burglars.
"Residential burglaries of occupied homes are extremely rare in Palo Alto. Most residential burglars commit their crimes during the day, when homes are more likely to be unoccupied and the chances of a confrontation with a resident are correspondingly reduced," police said.
Residents whose homes have a side-yard gate should consider adding a lock to prevent easy unauthorized access to their property. Police also recommend securing all windows and doors overnight. Hiding a key outside is risky; as an alternative, consider leaving a spare house key with a trusted neighbor, police said.
More information for residents on staying safe is available on the police 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. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.