A friend of the 80-year-old burglary victim briefly made eye contact with the suspect before he fled the scene, Mountain View police spokeswoman Liz Wylie said. The suspected burglar was apparently scared off when the woman entered her home in the 2000 block of Rock Street.
Based upon the witness' description of the man he saw running from the woman's apartment, Officer Kevin Nguyen was able to create a rough picture. "We are releasing a sketch of the suspect in the hopes someone will recognize him," Wylie said. "Anyone with information about this man can call 650-903-6395. Callers may remain anonymous."
The woman's friend had dropped her off and waited for her to get inside her apartment, apparently while the thief was still inside, police said.
As the woman entered her home, her friend — who was waiting out front to make sure she got inside safely — heard a loud noise and saw a man emerge from the patio area behind the woman's home, Wylie said. The man made eye contact with the woman's friend and then fled on foot.
The friend then ran inside to make sure the woman was OK, Wylie said. She was fine, but her apartment had been burglarized; she did not see the man her friend saw.
Instead of calling police, the two got back in the car and tried to find the burglar, eventually calling the police around 1:50 p.m. Neither the woman and her friend, nor police, could locate the burglar, who was described as a Hispanic man in a blue and white long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans, and of medium height and build.
"In the event your home is burglarized, don't try to track the suspect," Wylie said, noting that burglars may be dangerous. Also, she added, the sooner the police are called the sooner they can respond and begin an official investigation.
Wylie said police believe the burglar entered the woman's apartment through her bathroom window. "People tend to forget to lock their bathroom windows," she said. "Lock all your windows and doors and don't forget about that bathroom window."