Two juveniles arrested in connection with 12 downtown burglaries

The Los Altos Police Department today announced it has apprehended two suspects in the recent string of downtown Los Altos commercial burglaries.

Authorities are withholding the identities of the juvenile suspects, ages 15 and 17, from Santa Clara and Palo Alto, respectively. Los Altos investigators interviewed both suspects, who were issued citations and released to their parental guardians. The case will be referred to the Santa Clara County Juvenile Probation Department.

The arrests come one day after Los Altos police released photos and video surveillance footage of the two suspects, who are believed to have committed 12 burglaries of downtown businesses over two weekends.

“(Commercial burglary) is definitely not the norm, but when we do see these types of incidents, it really is an isolated series,” Los Altos Police Sgt. Mark Bautista said.

Although all of the businesses had locked up for the night, the suspects targeted rear delivery doors, generally weaker and less visible. Business owners reported three commercial burglaries Nov. 15 between midnight and 1 a.m. A week later, on Nov. 21, police received reports of nine more late-night break-ins. In all but one burglary, the suspects kicked in backdoors and stole cash and small food items.

Nov. 21 at Verizon Wireless on Main Street, the burglars smashed a rear window – triggering the alarm system that alerted police of the crime in progress. Verizon was the only business with an alarm among those targeted.

“Likely, Verizon was last but got reported first,” said Los Altos Police Agent Katie Krauss. “Alarms are fantastic because they serve as audible deterrents for people.”

She encouraged businesses to continue locking up at night and urged residents to notify police of loiterers, particularly afterhours and behind businesses.

In a statement to the public, police thanked residents for their assistance in identifying the suspects. Residents with any information related to the cases may call the investigations division at 947-2770.

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