Man accused of stealing package from Palo Alto home arrested

Bay City News
Monday, June 8, 2015

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- A man accused of stealing a package sitting on a porch in Palo Alto and attempting to sell the item on Craigslist was arrested last month, police said.

Eric Trinidad Espinoza, 39, of Mountain View, was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia and driving with a suspended license, police said.

On May 18, Espinoza allegedly walked up to the porch of a home in the 2100 block of Webster Street and took a package shortly before 10:30 p.m., according to police.

The victim reported the alleged theft to police dispatch 10 days later, police said.

The alleged theft was captured on the home's surveillance system and the victim posted video footage of the incident on Nextdoor, a private neighborhood social network shared by other community members, according to police.

The victim found an ad for the packaged item, an awning valued at $250, on Craigslist and contacted police.

An officer reached out to the seller on the ad posing as potential buyer and arranged a meeting for May 30 at a parking lot in the 3100 block of El Camino Real, police said.

The seller, later identified as Espinoza, arrived to the lot around 11:30 a.m. on May 30 and met with two undercover officers, who determined the awning was stolen on May 18, according to police.

Espinoza was arrested and booked into county jail, police said.

At the time of his arrest he was found with suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, police said.