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DSA In the News

Neighbor saves family from one ‘blue’ Christmas

 | Published on 12/21/2010


A juvenile was arrested Friday afternoon in the act of burglarizing a San Carlos residence after an alert neighbor saw two males try to enter the home through a window and then phoned police.
“It would have been a ‘blue’ Christmas if it weren’t for our neighbor,” victim Nicole Patterson said.

Police arrived on the scene at about 1:40 p.m. while the two young men were busy inside the home on St. Francis Way stuffing suitcases with electronic equipment and rifling through drawers for jewelry, according to Patterson.

One was arrested by a San Mateo County sheriff’s deputy after a foot chase over a fence and several city blocks but the second suspect got away, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The first suspect, a male juvenile from Redwood City, was found in possession of numerous pieces of jewelry, an Apple iPod and cash stolen from the residence, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Patterson, married with two children, had just left the home before the suspects tried to gain entry, she said.

“They must have been staking out the home because they entered it quickly after I left,” Patterson said.

Patterson credits neighbor Rachel Levine for noticing the incident and then promptly calling police.

“It was great timing. Almost miraculous,” Patterson said. “She’s our hero.”

Levine phoned Patterson after police arrived to let her know she was the victim of a burglary.

“I wasn’t gone more than 10 minutes,” Patterson said.

The two neighbors have been friendly in the past, both volunteering together at a local elementary school, but Patterson said the incident will bring them even closer together.

Patterson is also grateful to police who arrived to the scene within five minutes of Levine’s 911 call.

The San Carlos Police Department was recently dissolved and the city contracts with the Sheriff’s Office for police services now.

“There has been some bad press related to police but they got there fast enough to catch them in the act,” Patterson said.

The neighborhood suffered a similar residential burglary three weeks ago, Patterson said.

“Hopefully, this will put neighbor’s at ease. They caught the guy,” Patterson said.

The arrested juvenile was transported to the San Mateo County Youth Services Center and booked on burglary, possession of stolen property and resisting arrest charges, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The second suspect is described as a tall, slender Hispanic male with black hair, a thin face and wearing a maroon long-sleeved hooded sweatshirt who fled on foot over a fence and is still at large, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Anyone with information on the case should call (650) 363-4057 or telephone the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office anonymous tip line at (800) 547-2700.