An attempt by Menlo Park police to talk to the driver of a vehicle whose occupants appeared to be scoping out homes to burglarize led to a car and foot chase and the arrest of one of at least two burglary suspects.
According to police reports, on Thursday, June 23, around 2:15 p.m., a uniformed Menlo Park police officer approached the driver's side of a car near the 300 and 400 blocks of O'Connor Street in Menlo Park that had two people in it. Officers suspected the occupants were looking for homes to burglarize.
The driver sped off in his car when he saw the officer, colliding with a parked car and an undercover Menlo Park police car.
The officer returned to his patrol car and pursued the fleeing vehicle through "several residential streets," according to the police report, until the fleeing car stopped and the driver ran away.
Police later saw the two people they believed to be the suspects walking out of a driveway, and both ran away when they saw the officers. One of them dropped two computers and a screwdriver as he ran; he was caught and arrested.
Police identified the arrested man as Carlos YepezSaavedra, 21, of East Palo Alto. He was on parole for burglary and was booked into the San Mateo County Jail. According to Menlo Park Police Sgt. Ed Soares, Mr. YepezSaavedra was the driver who fled.
The two computers that were dropped were discovered to have been taken from a nearby residence, police said.
There was at least one other suspect who was not apprehended, Sgt. Soares said, though there could have been more involved. "At this point, we're still investigating."
When asked what pre-burglary behaviors police are on the alert for, Sgt. Soares said that warning signs are vehicles that have no license plates, drive up and down streets and stay at driveways for a minute or two, and appear to have "no rhyme nor reason why they're driving that way."
Residents should be cautious about leaving homes unoccupied with open windows or unlocked doors, leaving vehicles unlocked or leaving high-value items out in the open, he said.