Sept. 26--An off-duty private security guard was part of a duo arrested this week on suspicion of stealing 49 laptops from Facebook's former corporate offices in Palo Alto, police announced Tuesday night.
A second guard called police at about 1:31 a.m. Monday when he spotted two masked men dressed in black removing property from the offices at 1050 Page Mill Road, which are no longer used by the social networking company but contain some of its property, police said. The men fled when the guard made eye contact with one of them.
The guard was able to determine the race of one of the burglars and provide a description of the getaway car, police said.
A sergeant heading to the crime scene spotted a car matching the description traveling southbound on El Camino Real and getting ready to turn left onto Page Mill Road, police said. A second car was following closely behind.
Officers pulled over both cars at Page Mill Road and Ash Street at about 1:37 a.m. They spotted bins of laptops inside the second car and confirmed that they belonged to Facebook, police said. A stolen license plate and burglary tools including a crowbar were allegedly found inside the first car.
Police also discovered that the driver of the second car, 20-year-old Brandon Simon of Sunnyvale, worked for the private security firm that reported the burglary, police said. He had patrolled the grounds and allegedly knew what property was inside the offices, which are no longer
Police declined to release the name of the private security firm Tuesday.
According to police, Simon and his accomplice, 21-year-old Travis Calhoun of Sunnyvale, were both arrested and booked into Santa Clara County jail for commercial burglary, grand theft, possession of stolen property and conspiracy -- all felonies.
Simon was also booked for embezzlement and resisting arrest and Calhoun for possessing burglary tools and driving with a suspended license, police said.
The private security firm reported an act of vandalism the day before the burglary; a window pane near an exterior door was broken. Officers responded but couldn't confirm whether anything was stolen, but it was how Simon and Calhoun got inside the offices Monday morning, police said.
Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.
Email Jason Green at jgree[email protected]; follow him at twitter.com/jgreendailynews.
Copyright 2012 - Palo Alto Daily News, Calif.