Thieves struck with efficiency on Wednesday, Sept. 25, after smashing car windows on more than 15 vehicles during a series of car burglaries, including one in which they stole $10,000 in computers and other valuable items, according to Palo Alto police.
The break-ins occurred at two locations: at five addresses along the 1300, 1500 and 1800 blocks of Oak Creek Drive near Sand Hill Road and at 450 Lytton Avenue, Sgt. Kara Apple said.
At least 13 break-ins occurred in parking areas on Oak Creek Drive. Officers received an initial call at 7:30 a.m. from a resident who also reported a break-in to an adjacent car. Police investigated the area and found multiple cars with smashed windows. Officers were able to make contact with 12 victims, but there was an unknown number of other vehicles also burglarized, she said.
They struck vehicles in parking garages and at on-street spaces, probably between 2 and 5 a.m., Apple said.
Police discovered 12 burglaries during the daytime and one during the night shift. The thieves took clothing, sunglasses, cash, coins and a GPS system. The value of the losses varied, but the largest from one vehicle was $500 in GPS system and compact discs, she said.
Thieves also struck two rental vehicles at 450 Lytton between 7 and 11 p.m. In both cases, burglars smashed the windows. The victims lost $10,000 in computers, an iPhone, camera, backpack and passport in one incident, and $1,300 in property was taken from the second vehicle, including a backpack and computer.
Palo Alto has seen an increase in this type of crime, but nothing like the spate that occurred on Wednesday, Apple said.
The Palo Alto Police Department reminds the public not to leave valuables in vehicles or to lock their belongings where they cannot be seen.
Police ask the public to report suspicious behavior immediately by calling 9-1-1. Anyone who might have information about these crimes is asked to call the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.