Neighbor’s call foils Palo Alto const­ruction theft


Palo Alto police are crediting a call from a neighbor in helping them stop at least two men from stealing thousands of dollars worth of equipment from a construction site.

A police spokesman says officers responded to a residential construction site on theĀ 1400 block of Hamilton Avenue around 2 a.m. Friday when a neighbor called to report hearing loud noises and seeing two men loading items into a van parked at the site.

When officers arrived they found the van with its doors open and tools and equipment stacked inside. They also heard the sounds of people running and climbing a fence that surrounded the property.

A few minutes later police arrested a man they say was crawling through the bushes of a home just down the street. They identified him as 30-year-old Gerardo Martinez-Mendoza of East Palo Alto.

They also say the van parked at the scene that was loaded with equipment was registered in his name.

Police say a portable generator, a table saw and power tools found inside the van had a combined value of about $8,000.

Martinez-Mendoza is being held on suspicion of burglary.

Police are still looking for a second suspect, who escaped capture despite a door-to-door of the neighborhood.

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