For the third time this month, Palo Alto police are investigating a home burglary that happened during the early morning hours while the residents were asleep, the department said in a press release Friday.
The burglary happened in the Crescent Park neighborhood, where police dispatch was notified of the theft in the 1100 block of Hamilton Avenue around 6:20 a.m. on Thursday. A couple in their 60s reported that they woke up and found two exterior doors of their home open, according to the release.
An investigation showed the burglary happened sometime between 4:10 and 6:15 a.m. Someone stepped inside the home to take electronic items and car keys, but no vehicle was stolen, police said.
There was no forced entry into the residence and investigators said the burglar possibly gained access inside with a key hidden outside the home, the release states. Since notifying police of the burglary, the couple have rekeyed their residence and ignition of their car.
Police have no video footage of the burglar from a home surveillance system.
Investigators have not located evidence that connects Thursday's burglary to two others that happened roughly 5 miles away on Oct. 12. During the early morning hours that day, two homes were burglarized in the southern section of the city where two bicycles and a purse went missing. Photos obtained through a home security system show two men police believe are connected to the thefts.
Residential burglaries usually happen during the daytime when people are out of the home and burglars stand a lower chance of crossing paths with anyone. They're considered extremely rare in the city during the overnight hours, according to police.
The agency recommends the public set up locks on their side yard gates as a precaution to prevent trespassers from entering their property, police said. The department also advises residents to leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor instead of hiding one outside of their home.
Anyone with information about Thursday's burglary is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.