Town Square

Post a New Topic

Home Break-In Thoughts

Original post made by Midtown Guy, Midtown, on Oct 8, 2008

After my Palo Alto home was broken into this week, ransacked, and several items including a laptop stolen, I am seeking comments from others on the following:

1. Do Palo Alto police have detectives who follow up, tracing home break-ins, keeping an active file, and trying to link similar crimes so that eventually someone gets connected to the crime? The police did not want to take fingerprints ("too many old prints of yours," "bad surface"); a report is taken, and that's the end of it?
I wonder if anyone considers studying the details (daytime break-in--was someone watching to see when I left); (blank checks, laptop, and box of keepsakes taken, but two of my children's art trinkets from grade school with 'Love,xxxxxxNamexxxxx' left precisely on my bed);
a trap door to a crawl space discovered and opened; but camera in full view left untouched; refridgerator door left open, later
discovered two bottles of beer also taken; all drawers, doors, packages rifled through. Why steal a box of kids trinkets and a few college rings/Who's Who pin/ that with negligible monetary value but have so much sentimental value? Was it a kid in the neighborhood? A gardener in the neighborhood; was it done by the same person who robbed the house across the street last week? Do the authorities try to decipher clues? Is that just a TV story line?

The police spent a good amount fo time, making an effort to show concern. But untimately I felt this report would go into a file and be forgotten.

2. Doesn't a computer have a unique address, meaning that anytime someone logs on to the internet, that computer is identifiable?
If so, anyone who uses the computer could be traced, right?
I am worried about identity theft, about recovering all the files of correspondence (yes, some is backed up but not much) but also I would LOVE to see a detective use this address as a tracer and put this person behind bars before he does more damage.


Comments (6)

Like this comment
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Midtown guy - I can't help with your questions, but I also live in Midtown and was wondering if you could say approximately the location of your house and when the robbery occured. I have heard a lot about the muggings, but I didn't realize break-ins were also going on.


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 8, 2008 at 3:00 pm

I have a suggestion:
Web Link

That or something similar. About a year ago I saw a 4-camera B&W survellience system, complete, at Fry's, for about $250. Put this on your home, and make sure it also sees your neighbors homes. Encourage them to install similar systems and offer to help. See if you can get them to cover your house from theirs.

There will be no convictions from anything collected by these cameras, the pictures will not be good enough for positive ID. However, an awful lot can be gleaned from a recording of the event:
1) The exact time of the burglary.
2) Possible casing of your house first
3) How many people were there? How big? How dressed? Possible ethnicity info. Did they walk, drive, ride a bike?
4) Which way did they come from, which way did they go? How did they transport the stuff?
5) Neighborhood kids and common people in your neighborhood might be identified.

I am sure the police could get LOTS of information from a video of your house, or your neighbors house, being robbed. Cover the sidewalks outside your home and you could pick up vehicle thefts and burglaries, muggings, vandalism, whatever bad happens outside your home. If more people had these systems, criminals might find fewer dark corners to hide in.

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 8, 2008 at 3:50 pm

how did they break into your home, do you know?

I've become increasingly concerned about break-ins, especially since I work from home alone, and also because a couple months back we had car burglaries on our street.

thank you

Like this comment
Posted by dave
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 8, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Call 329-2413 and ask for Agent Dan Ryan, ext. 3195, or Capt. Bob Beacom, ext. 2555, and ask your questions. Or go to the police station and ask for the detective who handles robberies. He/she may be on call so best to call ahead of time at 329-2413 and set up an appointment.

Like this comment
Posted by madaboutit
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 12, 2008 at 9:01 am

Dear Midtown,

We were burglarized in the exact same fashion last week....drawers were rifled through and flipped over....trinket boxes emptied and some stuff taken......refrigerator door was left ajar. I am afraid we will always have questions that won't be answered.

Good luck and sleep with a bat.

Like this comment
Posted by How Are They Getting In?
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2008 at 11:30 am

It would be helpful to know how the burglars are getting in, so we can take extra precautions.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Help! I’m Covered in Bugs
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 1,626 views

Calave wine bar opens in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 5 comments | 1,510 views

Constitution Guarantees Nationwide Right to Same-Sex Marriage
By Chandrama Anderson | 26 comments | 1,330 views

SENIOR FOCUS: It's Never Too Late...To Ask for Help from Your Kids
By Max Greenberg | 3 comments | 1,166 views

Family Outing - Inside Out
By Cheryl Bac | 1 comment | 222 views