Violent Crime

Cupertino Police Still Seek Burglary Suspect Who Fled Triggering School Lockdown

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A lockdown at a preschool in Cupertino was lifted by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office shortly after 2 p.m. today more than two hours after deputies and Sunnyvale public safety officers began searching for a suspect in the area, a school official said. The lockdown was launched at about 11:45 a.m. after Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety officers pursued a suspect who fled rom a car in which officers found evidence tied to a recent home burglary, Sunnyvale Capt. David Verbrugge said. Sunnyvale police witnessed a traffic violation involving the car in Sunnyvale, stopped the vehicle across the city border in Cupertino and then saw the car’s three occupants take off on foot back into Sunnyvale, Verbrugge said.

Two of the suspects were captured, but after the third suspect escaped, sheriff’s deputies requested a lockdown at the Good Samaritan Preschool at 19624 Homestead Road in nearby Cupertino so that students “were never in any danger,” Verbrugge said. Sunnyvale police have no reason to believe the third suspect, who is still missing, was armed, and neither of the other two suspects had firearms, Verbrugge said. At about 2:10 p.m. or 2:15 p.m., a sheriff’s deputy informed Good Samaritan administrators they could unlock the school’s doors, but not allow students on the playground, said Loretta Wong, the school’s director.

The deputy said that it would be a good time to send the children home, so the school contacted the students’ parents and the children left for the day, Wong said. During the lockdown, sheriff’s deputies watched the school property from the Cupertino side of the school grounds while Sunnyvale police officers kept an eye on the side that borders Sunnyvale, Wong said. About 60 children were locked in their classrooms, placed on a rainy-day type of schedule, ate their lunches in class and then took naps in the early afternoon, school assistant director Stacey O’Toole said. Teachers kept the preschool children unaware of the lockdown, O’Toole said. The missing suspect is described only as a Hispanic male adult, said Verbrugge, who declined to identify the other suspects in custody.

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