Three 20-year-old men – Juan Baca Jr. and Alexander Shelton Ledwell of Redwood City and Salvador Reyes-Aguilar of East Palo Alto – pleaded no contest Aug. 22 to multiple residential burglaries and were sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to five years.
The three were arrested in March 2015 in connection with a burglary on Bay Laurel Drive in Menlo Park and following a police pursuit.
Mr. Baca and Mr. Reyes-Aguilar pleaded no contest to four counts of residential burglary. Mr. Baca was sentenced to four years and eight months and Mr. Reyes-Aguilar to five years and four months in prison.
Mr. Ledwell pleaded no contest to two counts of residential burglary and one count of possession of stolen property. He was sentenced to three years and four months in state prison.
The different sentences, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, were due in part to differences in the men's previous records and in one case, the added penalty of possessing brass knuckles. All received 600 days of credit for time served and will have to pay fines and fees.
The three were arrested after a local resident informed police that a car was cruising suspiciously along Bay Laurel Drive in Menlo Park. The car, the caller said, matched one described on the neighborhood website Nextdoor in connection to other burglaries.
Police investigated and found Mr. Baca in the car with items that had been reported stolen.
The two other men had just burglarized a home in the 1500 block of Bay Laurel Drive and were on their way back to the car at the time, prosecutors said. When they saw the police, they fled, dropping bags of stolen property as they ran, police said.
One man was apprehended quickly, while the other leapt fences and was tracked to a backyard on Olive Street by the county's canine unit, before being subdued by a Palo Alto officer's Taser, police said.
Among the stolen items recovered were jewelry, clothing, cash, electronics (computers and iPads), rifles, Airsoft weapons and a U.S. Army sword.