A rash of daytime car burglaries took place at Stanford Shopping Center this week, including three Saturday (Feb. 19), according to Agent Kara Salazar, Palo Alto police public information officer.
Another three cars were broken into on Thursday (Feb. 17), she said. All of the incidents occurred between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
A burglar was seen fleeing in one incident today but was not apprehended, she said.
Five of the burglaries occurred after the driver's side door lock was punched out, and the sixth had a window broken to gain entry, she said.
Stereo/DVD players, portable navigation systems and cell phones were the main targets, but in one theft, the burglar opened the trunk from an inside latch release and stole a laptop computer, she added.
Salazar advised shoppers, who often leave their cars parked for hours, to lock their cars and leave nothing visible inside. These burglars are targeting specific items that they can see, she added.
"An auto burglary doesn't take that long," Salazar said. "They break the window (or the lock), grab and leave."
Though these kinds of thefts can occur at any time, they are much more common around the holidays, she said.