A teenage burglar in California’s Silicon Valley woke up his unwitting victims in the middle of the night to ask them for their Wi-Fi password.

The 17-year-old thief broke into the Palo Alto home by cutting a screen cutting an open window in its side yard, police said. He is then believed to have stolen two kitchen knives before waking up his victims with his unusual request for internet access.

The homeowner told police he pushed the burglar down the hall and out of the house. Police arrested the youth a short distance away.

“The suspect's motive for entering the home is unknown, but the victims reported that two kitchen knives were missing from a kitchen drawer,” police added.

It appears the teenager was desperate to go online, with residents of another house telling police that a young man had approached their home and asked to use their Wi-Fi since he was out of mobile data.

Palo Alto police said they believed the youth was also behind the theft of a bicycle in the same neighbourhood that same night.

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