Atherton park burglary suspect arrested after police chase

Newark police make arrest after suspect crashes motorcycle into police car

Following a police chase, a man was arrested in Newark on Thursday in connection with a series of recent auto burglaries at Atherton's Holbrook-Palmer Park, where vehicle windows were broken and items taken from cars.

Newark police said they arrested David Barnett, 42, of Newark, around at 3:15 p.m. after following him when he left a home that was under surveilance on a motorcycle. He crashed into a police car before fleeing on foot and was eventually subdued with a Taser, police said.

David Barnett, 42, of Newark. (Photo: Newark Police Department.)
Stolen property from Atherton, as well as from other cases, was found both on him and in a search of the home he was staying at, according to a release by the Newark Police Department.

Mr. Barnett was charged with possession of stolen property, burglary and probation violation, Sgt. Alfredo Guarducci of the Atherton Police Department said.

The break in the case came, Sgt. Guarducci said, when a witness to a Wednesday, April 15, burglary in the park called in the license plate number and a description of the car, a silver Mercedes Benz CLK, and its driver.

Sgt. Guarducci said the man "has a long criminal history" and a connection to prison gangs and was wanted on probation violations when arrested.

Atherton sent out the description of the suspect to other agencies and tracked down the license plate to a home in Newark, Sgt. Guarducci said.

He met with Newark police and with Alameda County sheriff's deputies, who said they had a photo of the man they suspected was involved in the incidents. The webcam photo had been taken remotely by the owner of a stolen laptop using the computer's camera. The photo showed a distinctive tattoo, which Sgt. Guarducci said allowed police to confirm the identity of the suspect.

Sgt. Guarducci said the Atherton police then showed a photo lineup to the witness to the April 15 Holbrook-Palmer Park burglary, and that witness identified Mr. Barnett.

While property from two earlier burglaries in the park was not found in the home, Sgt. Guarducci said police think they have evidence tying Mr. Barnett to a March 27 crime. Credit cards stolen in that crime were used in stores that had surveillance cameras, and those photos should tie him to the crime, Sgt. Guarducci said.

Finding the man was made more complicated because the car he was using was not registered in his name, and he was not known to live at the Newark address. "If we didn't investigate it properly we would have never found him," he said.

Police caution people to always either remove or hide valuable items when parking vehicles. "Thieves look inside car windows and steal items that appear to be valuable," police said.

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call the Atherton Police Department at (650) 688-6500.

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6 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 17, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Nice inter-agency cooperation.

6 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2015 at 1:39 pm

pearl is a registered user.

Great police work, and kudos to the private citizen who witnessed the Wednesday, April 15, burglary in the park, and called in the license plate number, and a description of the car and its driver. Way to go!!!

3 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 17, 2015 at 1:39 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Very nice investigative work. Great job!

2 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Apr 17, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Great story - but is missing a ton of information. He was originally in a Mercedes. Then on a motorcycle and had to be subdues by a taser. I think the police agencies did a great job - I just think the story is missing large portions as was it earlier today.

Like this comment
Posted by Robert
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Apr 17, 2015 at 1:52 pm

** should be subdued **

2 people like this
Posted by June Curran
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Apr 19, 2015 at 7:24 pm

Doesn't this individual look attractive in his police mug shot - a photograph presumably taken after he was arrested for robbing people in our own neighborhood park, by breaking into their cars and stealing their personal possessions? He thought (evidently) that he would come over the bridge from Newark to rob innocent people on our side of the bay. Didn't he realize people might see him, and report him - taking down his license plate number? He doesn't exactly blend in here. While the typical Atherton or Menlo Park man in his forties is not a stereotype, he would differ greatly from the defendant pictured above. That kind of individual has no business in Atherton. Let's hope he receives a severe jail sentence.

Like this comment
Posted by Diversity
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2015 at 9:37 pm


"He doesn't exactly blend in here."

Are you kidding me? He seems to be white, clean cut, and driving a Mercedes. What part doesn't blend?

Atherton is only exclusive in its private spaces due to the barrier to entry -- money. Most can't afford the $6 million for the empty lot, much less the $20 million for the 50,000 sq. ft estate.

The park, library, train station, and streets are fair game. Anyone and everyone is welcome ... even those from other communities whether from over the bridge or the "east side". Color of one's skin, appearance, and cost of vehicle don't have any bearing.

Other than observing this idiot breaking into cars, I can't think of a reason why someone would call him out as an unwelcome outsider.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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