General Crime

Man Gathering Recyclables At Palo Alto School Arrested For Failing To Register As Sex Offender

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A 59-year-old man seen collecting recyclables at Palo Alto High School last week was arrested on suspicion of failing to register as a prior sex offender, according to police.

At 1:03 p.m. on Oct. 7, an officer spoke to a man later identified as Jose Pena Sanchez in the 900 block of El Camino Real after seeing him walking out of the high school’s parking lot, Palo Alto police said.

Sanchez apparently had been to the high school to pick up recyclable items and returned to a shopping cart full of bottles and cans that he left on the sidewalk on El Camino Real, police said.

A check on his name by the officer determined that he was a one-time sex offender who had not registered, as is required by law, with law enforcement since 2013, according to police.

Police arrested and booked Sanchez into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of two misdemeanor counts of failing to register as a sex offender.

Officers do not believe that Sanchez is associated with recent indecent exposure incidents reported in Palo Alto and said he had no contact with students at the high school, police said.

Sanchez was arrested off of the school’s campus, had only entered the campus to collect recyclable materials and had been merely passing through town, according to police.

Police said Sanchez is among the 25 percent of registered sex offenders in California whose names do no appear on the state’s Megan’s Law website of offenders.

Sanchez is not on the Megan’s Law list because the criminal offense for which he was convicted excluded his name from public disclosure, but he still must register with law enforcement, police said.

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