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.