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PALO ALTO, Calif. (CBS) – Police in Palo Alto say a teenager has been arrested after breaking into a couple’s home and asking to use their WiFi. Police say officers later connected him to a nearby bicycle theft that had occurred the same night.
According to Palo Alto authorities, police received a call around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday from a couple in their 60s reporting they had just awakened to a stranger in the bedroom of their home, asking to use their WiFi. The homeowner reported he had shoved the suspect out of his house and then called police. Officers responded immediately and detained the suspect without incident about a block away.
Officers determined the suspect had climbed into the home after cutting a screen covering an open window in the side yard.
Police arrested the suspect, a 17-year-old boy from Palo Alto, for residential burglary, prowling, and providing false information to an officer. Officers transported him to Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall.
On Sunday afternoon, police received a call of a bike theft from a backyard that had occurred overnight. Officers learned that at around 11:45 p.m. on Saturday, July 21, a resident in her 20s noticed the suspect was outside her bedroom window and motioning that he wanted to talk to her. The woman notified another resident of the home, an adult in his late teens, and together the two of them confronted the suspect in the side yard. The suspect asked to use their WiFi network because he was out of data. They ordered the suspect to leave, and they watched him ride away on a bicycle. They did not notify police at the time.
The following morning, the male resident realized that his bicycle, which had been in the backyard, was missing. The residents reviewed their surveillance video and saw the suspect stealing the bike from the backyard.
Officers checked the area for the stolen bicycle and found it near the location where police had detained the suspect. Officers returned the bicycle to the victim and are recommending that the district attorney’s office add a charge of misdemeanor petty theft against the suspect.