Willows neighborhood bicycle thieves arrested today

by Contributed Content on January 31, 2017

A string of bicycle thefts have plagued the Willows neighborhood along with surrounding Menlo Park, East Palo Alto and Palo Alto areas in the last several weeks. On the evening of Monday, January 30, 2017, bike thefts again occurred in the Willows’ neighborhood and two of these burglaries were captured on resident video cameras. Investigations and the Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) identified the suspect from the surveillance video.

On January 31, 2017, NET conducted undercover surveillance on the residence of the suspect. As NET was observing the house, a vehicle matching the description (a silver Nissan Frontier) captured by the surveillance cameras from the prior evening was seen approaching the residence. Officers activated their lights and sirens to conduct a traffic stop at Runnymede St. and Clarke St, in East Palo Alto. A pursuit ensued through a residential area of East Palo Alto.

The vehicle subsequently hit another vehicle causing minor vehicle damage and no injuries. Two male subjects fled on foot from the vehicle. Officers detained one of the subjects near the vehicle and officers pursued the second subject for approximately three blocks. The subject jumped several fences causing damage to fences and windows. He was detained in the ­­­­2100 block of Capitol Ave in East Palo Alto. The vehicle was later discovered to be a stolen vehicle out of San Jose.

Further information obtained during the investigation confirmed the identification of an East Palo Alto residence of the female subject that was under surveillance, for these crimes, who was on probation for threats. Officers went back to the residence and found the female suspect to be home and hiding in a back shed and arrested her. The suspect is identified as Miriam Taimani, 32-year-old female of East Palo Alto. She was booked into San Mateo County jail for possession of methamphetamine, drug indicia, stolen mail, bikes and other stolen property, which were located in the residence.

Jonathan Vega, 25-year-old male from East Palo Alto, was arrested and booked into San Mateo County jail for possession of a stolen vehicle, reckless evading, vandalism and resisting arrest. John Palavi, 53-year-old male from East Palo Alto, was cited and released for a $2,500 warrant for a suspended license out of San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and for resisting arrest.

The Menlo Park Police Department is asking anyone who might have information about this case to call Menlo Park Police Department at (650) 330-6300 or the Menlo Park Police Anonymous Tip Hotline at (650) 330-6395. This is an ongoing investigation and there is not additional information to be released at this time.

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