News

Palo Alto police seek window-smashing auto burglars

Rash of burglaries hits restaurant corridor on El Camino Real last week

Burglars broke into 14 vehicles in and around the restaurant corridor on El Camino Real in Palo Alto over four days this past week, according to the police department.

Eleven cases occurred on El Camino Real near restaurants including the Fish Market Restaurant, at 3150 El Camino Real; The Sea by Alexander's Steakhouse, at 4269 El Camino Real; and Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, at 2515 El Camino Real, Palo Alto Detective Sergeant Brian Philip said.

Two cases occurred at Fry's Electronics, at 340 Portage Ave., and one took place in a parking garage at 490 Cambridge Ave.

All took place between Thursday, Nov. 6 to Sunday, Nov. 9.

In each incident, the burglars smashed the car windows. The burglars made off with electronic devices, including laptops and cell phones, Philip said. In three cases, the burglars rummaged through the cars but did not take anything.

It does not appear that the burglars targeted any particular make or model of car, though it does appear that they targeted rental vehicles with the thought that business people travel with electronic devices, Philip said.

"It is a continued problem plaguing Palo Alto and the Peninsula," but police are working with other agencies on possible leads and looking at similarities in other cases, he said.

Police advise residents and visitors to lock their unattended vehicles and close all windows, as well as take valuables with them or keep things out of sight.

Police also encourage people to call 911 to report suspicious behavior.

Anyone with information pertaining to these incidents can also call the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413, send an anonymous tip by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984 or by email to paloalto@tipnow.org.

To see a map of the auto burglaries, visit UMapper.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Do local rental car companies still put "please rob me" stickers on their car bumpers? I know that rental car companies in many tourist areas stopped doing that years ago.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 11, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Yes, I had noticed this recent spate in the police logs and wondered when it would hit the press.

11/06/2014 13:06 Window smash, items taken 4127 El Camino
11/06/2014 13:31 Window smash, items taken 4119 El Camino
11/06/2014 13:26 Window smash, items taken 340 Portage
11/06/2014 13:26 Window smash, nothing taken 340 Portage
11/07/2014 11:15 Window smash, items taken 180 El Camino
11/07/2014 12:31 Window smash, items taken 3401 El Camino
11/07/2014 19:56 Window smash, items taken 2515 El Camino
11/07/2014 20:00 Window smash, items taken 2310 El Camino
11/07/2014 20:12 Window smash, items taken 4127 El Camino
11/09/2014 19:33 Window smash, no items taken 490 Cambridge
11/09/2014 19:37 Window smash, items taken 3150 El Camino
11/09/2014 20:00 Window smash, items taken 3150 El Camino
11/09/2014 19:44 Window smash, no items taken 4269 El Camino
11/09/2014 19:44 Window smash, items taken 4269 El Camino


Like this comment
Posted by cassie
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 11, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Wonder if any of these are repeat thieves that know how easy they can pull the robberies off!

Maybe targeted restaurants might put on a security person.


2 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 11, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Smash and grab robberies on El Camino are nothing new. Sometimes they happen in the parking lots of restaurants--where there are surveillance cameras. One particularly annoying "gang" was caught because the police used the surveillance cameras that the restaurant had installed.

Which brings us to the question--why is it that the City of Palo Alto continues to ignore the value of these cameras, and install them in some places where there is evidence of this sort of crime?


1 person likes this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 12, 2014 at 5:01 pm

It amazes me that no one sees this happening and does not take a picture of the people doing it. And why businesses do not have someone out there who is managing the property area. It is like graffiti people - people have to see what is going on when it happens and should report it there are some addresses which are the same on separate days.
Why don't those businesses have a camera on the parking lots that they can view real time. People will not go to those businesses if the business people do not have someone out there.


Like this comment
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Nov 13, 2014 at 2:03 am

Sparty is a registered user.

rental cars still have bar codes on the windows. until the costs of break ins exceeds their downtown/repair vs insurance...don't count on them changing anything


Like this comment
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Nov 13, 2014 at 2:05 am

Sparty is a registered user.

" In three cases, the burglars rummaged through the cars but did not take anything. "

This is always lost on people who ride in your car and want to leave something in plain view... "oh there's nothing in it. it's just an old bag"


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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