Palo Alto police have issued a warning for residents to be vigilant and lock doors and windows after a significant increase in home burglaries since the beginning of the year.
There have been 12 burglaries alone in the last week, with unlocked doors or windows being the points of entry, Brown said.
There have been 51 residential burglaries in Palo Alto since Jan. 1, Palo Alto Police Sgt. Sandra Brown said. There were 12 last November, indicating more than a doubling of the monthly number of burglaries since then.
Seventeen of the burglaries since Jan. 1 have occurred on Saturdays and Sundays.
The bulk of the home burglaries occur on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Brown said, when people are often at work.
Laptops, digital cameras, iPods and large plasma TVs are common targets of burglars.
"The Palo Alto Police Department continually asks the public to continue to call the police when suspicious activity occurs in your community," Brown said in a press release. "Notify close neighbors when leaving for extended periods of time. Be great witnesses and write down license plate numbers and physical descriptions of suspicious persons. And most importantly, contact the police as soon as possible when crimes occur."
Brown also advises residents to record information about electronics and other valuables, including writing down serial numbers, to aid in their recovery if they are stolen. Taking photographs of jewelry and other valuables also helps.
People are encouraged to call the police tip line at 650-329-2190 with any information about burglaries in the city.