Police arrested Kariem McFarlin, 35, on suspicion of theft of at least $60,000 worth of “computers and personal items,” according to the Associated Press.
According to the report, McFarlin appeared to be unaware of the home’s famous inhabitants. He is charged with residential burglary and selling stolen property and is expected to enter a plea Aug. 20.
A search of crime reports from the Palo Alto Police Department shows that a report of a residential property crime on the same block as Jobs’s home was filed July 20. The San Jose Mercury News reported that the incident took place July 17.
“The best we can tell is it was totally random,” Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Tom Flattery told the Mercury News. Jobs died at the home last October at age 56, and Forbes reported this month that the home was undergoing extensive renovation and had become a gathering place for fans mourning Jobs’s death. The home is reportedly surrounded by a temporary construction barrier while its exterior stucco is being replaced.
Residential burglaries have been rising in the San Francisco bay area, the Mercury News report said, adding that Palo Alto has seen a 63 percent increase in burglaries in the first half of the year. Police told the newspaper that the increase is exacerbated by unlocked doors and windows.
According to the authorized Steve Jobs biography written by Walter Isaacson, the home was designed by Carr Jones, an architect that specialized in “storybook style homes.”
“The house was not the minimalist and modernist style Jobs would have designed if he had built a home from scratch,” Isaacson wrote. Jobs and his wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, made few renovations to the home during his lifetime, according to the book, but did clear out another home behind their own to make a garden, expanded the kitchen and replaced a triangular window.
Still, in a move emblematic of Jobs’s famous pursuit of perfectionism, Isaacson wrote that the planned four-month renovation “took sixteen months because Jobs kept redoing the design.”
TechCrunch reported that it’s unclear whether the Jobs family is living at the home during the renovation, and police declined to tell the AP whether the items taken belonged to Steve Jobs or another family member.