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Los Altos Hills Man Interrupts Burglar in His Home, Fires Shot

A man came home to find a burglar in his house, attempting to steal two bags full of property. He fired a shot at the suspect, who dropped the bags and fled.

It appears Wednesday's , in which a woman in her car was held at knifepoint for the contents of her purse, was not the only scary encounter with someone intent on taking property this week in Los Altos Hills.

Los Altos Patch has just learned of a second incident, in which a man who lives on Nicole Lane in Los Altos Hills came home to find a burglar in his house.

A couple of days ago, a resident arrived home at approximately 4 p.m., and heard his dog barking strangely.

According to an emailed report by Capt. Ken Binder of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's West Patrol Division, the man quietly entered the upper level of his house and put his groceries down, then went to his master bedroom to retreive his 9mm handgun.

He then went over to the stairs, where he could see the burglar in his downstairs living room, holding two bags.

The man called out to the suspect, asking him what he was trying to steal, but the burglar did not answer, nor did he try to flee.

At that point, the man decided to fire a warning shot.

"Being in fear, he then fired a warning shot next to the suspect. The suspect dropped both bags and fled out to the backyard," Capt. Binder said in an e-mail that was re-broadcast via the Friends of the Hills e-mail list, letting them know about the incident.

It was later discovered the burglar had gained entry into the home by breaking in through a bathroom window.

"The suspect was wearing gloves when the victim saw him, but deputies still processed the window area and lifted numerous fingerprints from the window and screen," Binder reported.

However, he added, "If the suspect was wearing gloves when he entered, the prints will most likely belong to the victim."

The victim later went through the items in the bags the burglar had been holding. Inside was approximately $975 worth of the victim's property, including five camcorders, 11 watches, a flashlight, Nicorette gum, two checks belonging to the victim, and some small, miscellaneous items.

"All of the victim's property was left on the scene," Binder wrote.

The burglar was reportedly wearing a bandanna over his face, but the victim described him as a heavy-set, male adult, approximately 45-50 years of age, around 5'7" in height, and wearing a dark gray shirt and blue jeans. He had further obscured his appearance with sunglasses and a hat.

As with the armed robbery on Wednesday, deputies searched the immediate area and also used the Sheriff's helicopter in an unsuccessful effort to locate the suspect. The search had been hampered because the victim did not report the incident until 6 p.m. "which gave the suspect ample time to flee the area," Binder wrote.

The Sheriff's Office said a more detailed decription of the suspect and the date of the incident may be available Monday.

Patch spoke with Lt. Donald Morrissey, of the West Valley Patrol Division of the Sheriff's Office, on Saturday.

"We have been seeing an increase in burglaries in the hills recently, but these are two separate, unrelated incidents," Morrissey said of the armed robbery on Wednesday and the latest burglary.

Patch will update this story as soon as additional information is available.

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