Two men were arrested Monday night after they allegedly stole 49 laptop computers from the former corporate offices of Facebook at 1050 Page Mill Road in Palo Alto. And one of the suspects was an off-duty security guard assigned to the very business he had just burglarized, police said.
Palo Alto police received a call from an alert private security guard at about 1:31 a.m. after the guard interrupted a commercial burglary in progress. Facebook hires the guards to monitor the site because while no longer regularly occupied, it still contains property belonging to the company, police said.
The guard reported that two masked men dressed all in black had just entered the building and were removing property. One of the men made eye contact with the guard, and both burglars fled while carrying items.
The guard obtained a description of a suspect vehicle and provided the information to the dispatcher, police said.
A police sergeant spotted the vehicle being driven by Travis Calhoun, 21, heading southbound on El Camino Real as the vehicle was about to turn left onto eastbound Page Mill Road. A second car was closely following Calhoun's vehicle, police said.
Officers stopped both vehicles on Page Mill Road at Ash Street at about 1:37 a.m. Bins of laptop computers were spotted inside the second vehicle, which was driven by Brandon Simon, 20, the off-duty security guard. Both men are Sunnyvale residents.
Police arrested both drivers. Simon briefly resisted, but no one was injured, police said. Officers located a stolen license plate and burglary tools -- a crowbar, mallet and screwdriver -- inside Calhoun's car. All of the laptops belonged to Facebook, police said.
Simon regularly patrolled the Facebook offices for the same security company that reported the burglary and he had knowledge about what property remained inside the building, police said. The department is not releasing the name of the private security company.
Vandalism at the same office occurred Sunday night, Sept. 23, at about 5:20 a.m. and was reported by security to police. In that case, security guards noticed a broken windowpane near an exterior door. Police could not confirm that any property had been stolen.
Simon and Calhoun entered the building at that same point of entry on Monday, police said.
The men were booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose for commercial burglary, grand theft, possession of stolen property and conspiracy -- all felony charges. Simon was also booked on felony embezzlement and resisting arrest, which is a misdemeanor. Calhoun's booking charges also included possession of burglary tools and driving with a suspended license. Both charges are misdemeanors.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Palo Alto police 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.