By Robert Handa
LOS ALTOS, Calif. —
Los Altos is dealing with a sudden spike in home burglaries, with 10 break-ins reported already in April.
Robert Clark lives near one of the burglarized homes and says the sudden surge is unsettling especially since police say it’s difficult to tell why.
“You know, it’s a somewhat affluent community,” Clark said as he showed KTVU the double locks he has on his own doors, “and with our burglars, if you want to call them that, out casing the neighborhoods it scares me.”
Police say the way the burglars have generally been breaking in provides few clues.
“Breaking down doors, prying open doors, accessing side gates and going through side doors,” said detective Abraham Velasco, “(those) are such a common way to enter a residence there really is no way for us to tell, at this point, if it’s one crew, two crews or even three crews.”
But police are also concerned that two of the burglaries had a somewhat unexpected method – stealing garage door openers from unlocked cars.
Detective Velasco says that also meant the victims were home at the time of the break-ins but, fortunately, no one encountered the burglars.
Velasco added that police don’t want to make people paranoid but definitely want people to exercise good judgment in what they leave exposed in vehicles.
Clark said he was surprised to hear about the garage door openers and said he planned to put his out of sight.
“I really hadn’t thought about it before,” he said, “why dangle a house key from your visor? I mean, that’s no different than your garage door opener.”
Police say that type of precaution is one of many safety tips being promoted at community meetings.
Investigators are also checking to see if several burglary suspects arrested last week in unincorporated Santa Clara County near Los Altos are connected to this recent string.
Two of the men arrested were identified as suspects in a burglary in Los Altos Hills in December last year.