Palo Alto police investigate business burglaries

Police increasing patrols in business areas following string of thefts

Palo Alto police are increasing patrols in business areas after a string of nighttime burglaries resulted in the loss of thousands of dollars, Detective Brian Philip said.

In each of the seven cases that have occurred since February, thieves smashed through office-building windows to steal portable electronics.

"Each occasion they take a few laptops and small flat screens," Philip said.

The primary targets have been business areas along the East Bayshore corridor, including Highway 101 and San Antonio and Embarcadero roads. Affected areas include Watson Court, as well as the 1700 block of Embarcadero Road, the site of the latest burglary on June 16. As a result, police officers working nighttime shifts have been redirected to those areas.

"We looked at what times this was occurring -- in this case, the night time -- and told our night officers to spend more time in that area during their shift, to be visible and deter criminals because we're seeing a crime trend," Philip said.

Similar incidents have been reported in the same five-month time span in the neighboring cities of Menlo Park, Mountain View and Sunnyvale. Philip said it is possible the same group of thieves is committing the burglaries. However, the overall rate of burglary has slowed, he said.

"It seems the burglaries have slowed down as a result of the increased police presence in the areas. But it's still important for businesses to be vigilant about their property, use alarm systems and surveillance cameras. These are all huge deterrents," he said.

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Like this comment
Posted by surveillance photos?
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2010 at 8:50 am

Do any of these businesses have video surveillance systems?

Like this comment
Posted by jb
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 20, 2010 at 9:37 am

I don't know anything about alarm systems. However I do remember a few years ago a news story that the PA police would not be answering any more private alarms because of the number of false alarms they took.

Like this comment
Posted by carlito ways
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 20, 2010 at 11:04 am

In alarm systems you get what you pay for, you want to get a reliable system? is going to cost you some money, depending what is the worth of the property you want to protect. False alarms are mostly due to the shabby installation, materials, equipment or workmanship. Nowadys there are many folks out there that think they know how to put a reliable system together(electricians, carpenters, drywallers, painters) but not so, because is not a plug and play type of system, the person(s) doing the job has to have knowledge of: electronics, different brands of equipment, parts, fluency in Windows XP, low voltage systems NEC codes, California certifications(Fire Life Safety), trouble shooting skills competency, customer service skills.
If the person(s) doing the work meets the criteria, believe me, he(they) can do wonders in putting a system that incorporates video surveillance(CCTV) and the alarm system and makes it work in tandem.

Stay away from the " free alarm system" gimmick, is more expensive at the end.

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