PALO ALTO – Three car thieves were caught by plainclothes officers on March 26, 2013 at the City Lot “R” parking garage on High Street in Palo Alto.
In the past six months, there have been 45 auto burglaries in that parking garage. The Palo Alto Police Department began to target street robberies and auto burglaries through initiatives like having plainclothes officers patrol the downtown area driving unmarked cars.
On March 26, plainclothes officers were patrolling the “R” parking garage. The officers noticed a white 2004 Lincoln Navigator in a parking stall on the second level of the 5-story garage. A man was standing beside the car, who appeared to be startled by the presence of another car, according to Detective Sergeant Brian Philip. The officers then suspected the man tried to make himself look busy. There was no damage to any of the surrounding vehicles as observed by the officers, but they noted the Navigator’s license plate number and kept driving.
The officers continued their patrol. After ten minutes, they returned to the same spot. The Navigator was gone but “a vehicle parked two spots away from where it had been, now had a broken rear passenger window,” said Det. Philip. Shattered glass lay on the ground.
The officers put out a lookout alert on the police radio. Within minutes a uniformed officer spotted the Navigator a few blocks away and stopped it.
The three occupants were San Francisco residents: 42-year-old Shane Springer, 23-year-old Oleg Nevidomyy, and 21-year-old Julia Nenaydokh. Inside the car, police found a window punch tool – the same tool used on two locked cars at the garage – a briefcase, and a duffle bag containing cash and electronics, later positively identified by burglary victims as belonging to them. Police also discovered heroin and syringes.
Police returned all of the stolen property to the victims and booked all three suspects into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for five felonies (two counts of auto burglary, possession of stolen property, possession of narcotics, and conspiracy to commit a crime) and two misdemeanors (possession of narcotics and possession of a burglary tool).
The police are still investigating to determine whether these three are responsible for any of the 45 other auto burglaries in the past six months at the same garage. No additional stolen property has been located.
Anyone with information about this incident can contact our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.
Palo Alto Online: Three arrested for burglaries in Palo Alto garage