Residents of a Palo Alto home on Greenwood Avenue returned to find multiple large items stolen from their residence -- in broad daylight while neighbors on both sides were at home, according to neighbors and police.
The burglar or burglars walked out the front door of a home in the 1100 block of Greenwood, between Harriet Street and Hutchinson Avenue, on Tuesday, March 13, between 8:15 and 9:10 a.m.
The person or persons stole a large, flat-screen television, painting, and bags of smaller electronics and jewelry, according to a neighborhood alert. The owners have a large dog in their backyard and an alarm, but it was not set, a neighbor said.
Neighbors said the thief allegedly cut the front-window screens looking for an unlocked window, and found one, through which they entered.
Police spokesman Lt. Zach Perron said Wednesday that contrary to rumors, this type of crime is not being perpetrated by a new crew. There have been multiple cases of large-property thefts, along with the recently publicized porch-package pilfering and iPad and iPod thefts.
Perron said that recent publicity asking for residents to call about suspicious persons or activity has resulted in a considerable increase in such calls. The department is encouraging residents to continue their vigilance. Residents should not hesitate to call any time they suspect unusual activity, he said.
Police will soon roll out a public-education campaign that will include a "laundry list" of crime-prevention tips and a concerted effort to get the message out, Perron said. Police are also planning to use city Public Works and Utilities workers to extend their neighborhood observational reach.
"At any given time, there are 80 City of Palo Alto vehicles out there. We are liaisoning with them to use them as our extra eyes and ears. Patrol staff is just decimated at this time," he said. The department has about 14 vacancies due mainly to retirements of upper-level staff, police have said.
The public can report suspicious persons or activity by calling 911 or dispatch at 650-329-2413.