PALO ALTO, Calif. (KCBS) _ Police in Palo Alto are investigating a series of bizarre burglary attempts, where the bad guys may be using a young child to enter the homes and act as a scout.

Palo Alto Police Detective Brian Philip said it’s what has happened at least three times to residents in the city.

“They’ve encountered this individual inside their home and upon doing so, he usually leaves right away,” said Philip. “And in two of the three cases, it seems that there were adults waiting outside for him.”

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Adults that Philip said are likely the real burglars, using the juvenile as a scout, as residents may be less likely to report the incidents due to the boy’s age.

But Philip said residents shouldn’t fall for the ploy.

“Call police immediately. We don’t want people to hesitate,” he said. “We want people to call us immediately so that we can respond and see if we can resolve the situation and find out really what’s going on.”

So far, only one item has been reported missing: a skateboard. Authorities said if caught, the juvenile may not face charges if he is an unwilling partner.

The adults however will likely be charged with participating in the delinquency of a minor, among other crimes.


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