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Palo Alto police arrest woman suspected of burglarizing home while family was there

PIX Now morning edition 12-3-23
PIX Now morning edition 12-3-23 09:25

Palo Alto police arrested a woman Thursday night they say entered an occupied home to steal items, then later stole a package from the porch of another home.   

At about 9:20 p.m., a family of four (two adults, two children) were at their Byron Street home when the mother, a woman in her 40s, heard footsteps downstairs. She assumed it was a family member. 

She and her husband checked their security cameras a short time later and saw an unknown female entered their home via the unlocked front door. She'd apparently been inside for two minutes, walking through to go into their backyard, then leaving out a side yard gate to walk northbound on Byron Street.   

police received a call reporting a residential burglary around 9:36 p.m.

They noticed the suspect stole the woman's purse and jacket. Officers checked the area but didn't locate the suspect. 

About an hour later, police received another call reporting a woman prowling on the front porch of a home in the 1300 block of Middlefield Road.  That reporting party stated the woman was now a couple houses away, doing the same thing. 

Officers responded and detained the suspect without incident at 10:39 p.m. at the corner of Embarcadero Road and Webster Street. They found the stolen purse and jacket on her, as well as an unopened package stolen off the porch of a home in the 1100 block of Harker Avenue.

Officers returned the stolen property. 

The suspect identified herself to police using multiple names and dates of birth; police were not able to confirm her identity prior to booking her into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of burglary and two misdemeanor petty thefts and providing a false identity to police.

Fingerprints identified her as 52-year-old Zaira Dier, who police said had no permanent residence address.    

Anyone with information about the incidents can police at 650-329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. 

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