Sat12202014

News

Los Altos files charges against serial auto burglar


A 22-year-old man already in jail facing 27 counts of auto burglary in Palo Alto is now contending with four additional charges related to crimes committed in Los Altos.

According to Los Altos Police Agent Mark Thompson, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office Feb. 5 filed six additional counts – four for burglary, two for grand theft – against Vernon Rayshaun Evans-Carmichael for a series of Los Altos auto burglaries allegedly committed at approximately 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 in the parking area behind Chef Chu’s and Armadillo Willy’s restaurants.

Thompson said camera equipment, laptops and other electronics were among the items stolen from two of the four cars – which included three rentals. He added that the charges came in part after an eyewitness placed Evans-Carmichael at the scene Jan. 14, in addition to other evidence linking him to the burglaries. Evans-Carmichael, a San Francisco resident, is currently jailed in Santa Clara in lieu of $350,000 bail.

“This is big, especially when you get this many (auto burglaries) in the area,” Thompson said of the cumulative charges filed against Evans-Carmichael.

Palo Alto police originally issued a felony arrest warrant for Evans-Carmichael after a burglary spree at Stanford Shopping Center resulted in five rental cars with smashed windows. Several items, including electronics, were stolen from the vehicles at that time. An eyewitness account led police to identify Evans-Carmichael as the suspect. San Francisco police Oct. 22 arrested Evans-Carmichael, who was on probation in San Francisco County for a 2012 felony burglary conviction. Facing a total of 10 charges at the time, he posted bail but failed to appear at his arraignment hearing, resulting in a bench warrant being issued for his arrest.

Jan. 14 – the same night as the Los Altos break-ins – Palo Alto police reported nine window-smash auto burglaries at the Fish Market, 3150 El Camino Real. Seven of those vehicles were rental cars. Electronics such as laptops and tablet computers were among the items stolen from the vehicles. Investigators at the scene identified evidence that pointed to Evans-Carmichael, still wanted on the outstanding bench warrant, as a suspect.

Two days later, Oakley police (Contra Costa County) located and arrested Evans-Carmichael and turned him over to the Palo Alto Police Department, which booked him into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on the original warrant and a probation violation.

A follow-up investigation by the Palo Alto Police Department led the District Attorney’s Office to file another 17 felony charges against Evans-Carmichael Jan. 24. Those charges, according to Palo Alto police, stemmed from the Jan. 14 auto break-ins at the Fish Market, in addition to a single window-smash rental car burglary Jan. 13 at Sundance Steakhouse at 1921 El Camino Real.

Thompson noted that rental cars in particular have been popular targets of auto burglars, observing that the vehicles typically contain “clear markings” that identify them as such. He added that local residents should use caution when parking. Thompson said residents should always remove valuables from their vehicles – whether parked in a public area or in their driveway.

“It’s a crime of opportunity,” Thompson said. “They’re obviously just looking for anything they can take that is in plain view.”

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to call the Los Altos Police Department at 947-2770.

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