Palo Alto – Victor Adrian Martinez-Lopez didn’t know it but he was being watched. On Wednesday, February 27, at about 6 pm, he had broken into a woman’s apartment and thought he was getting away with the burglary when he saw the surveillance camera, and took it along with a digital music player. But the camera had already sent the victim, a woman in her 30’s, his images.
The camera was triggered by motion sensor and as soon as Lopez moved in, his photographs were being taken and sent via email to the victim. The next day, officers from the Palo Alto Police Department took those photographs to the property management company responsible for the apartment complex.
According to Officer Ron Harris, “an employee immediately recognized the suspect as one of their painters, 28 year old” Martinez-Lopez of Hayward. He had no work in that apartment that day and did not have access to keys to any of the apartments.
Further investigation, said Officer Harris, revealed the victim had left a window unlocked in her apartment, which may be how Martinez-Lopez entered. There was no indication he was responsible for a jewelry theft the previous year in the same residence nor for any other residential burglaries in Palo Alto.
Martinez-Lopez was arrested later that same day. The stolen digital music player was in his possession, confirmed Officer Harris. He was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for one count of residential burglary (a felony). He was already on court probation in Alameda County for a DUI conviction.
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