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Investigators have connected two East Palo Alto women arrested on suspicion of burglary and drug charges in Los Altos to at least 15 residential burglaries in three Bay Area counties, Los Altos police said. The pair was arrested on Oct. 29 after officers saw one of them in a parked vehicle in a neighborhood in the 600 block of Almond Avenue in Los Altos at about 2 p.m. Officers spoke to the woman, who acted suspiciously and gave them a false name, police said. The second woman was not far away on Higgins Avenue and gave a different reason for being in the neighborhood.
Police searched the car and found methamphetamine and property that officers determined had been stolen earlier in the day from a residence in Palo Alto, Los Altos police said. Palo Alto police said that burglary happened in the 2300 block of St. Francis Drive on between 10:10 a.m. and 2:20 p.m. The suspects are believed to have pried open a locked sliding glass door to enter and burglarize the home. The two were identified as Ana Lauese, 35, and Malinda Ladson, 33. Both were booked into Santa Clara County jail, Lauese on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property and giving false information to police, Ladson on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property and possession of a controlled substance. Lauese is being held without bail and Ladson is being held on $150,000 bail.
On Oct. 31, Palo Alto and Los Altos detectives served a search warrant in San Mateo County and found stolen jewelry and electronics connected to Lauese and Ladson. The evidence connected them to 15 burglaries in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Contra Costa counties, including in Los Altos, San Jose, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Redwood City, Belmont and Kensington, Los Altos police said. The burglaries include three additional burglaries in Palo Alto since June, Palo Alto police said. The first was on June 29 between 3:45 p.m. and 10 p.m. in the 1500 block of Mariposa Avenue. The two are suspected of entering through an unlocked backdoor and stealing electronics.
The second came on Aug 21 between 1 and 3 p.m. in the 800 block of Gailen Avenue. The two are believed to have removed a screen covering an open window and burglarized electronics. The third was on Sept. 7 between 5:15 and 7:15 p.m. in the 600 block of East Meadow Drive. Police are unsure how the suspects entered, but they are believed to have stolen jewelry in that case, Palo Alto police said. Police are continuing to investigate whether the two may be connected to any other burglaries.