Town Square

Report: Home burglaries up 52 percent from 2011

Original post made on Jan 21, 2013

Residential burglaries in Palo Alto jumped 52 percent in 2012, from 149 to 226, according to an annual crime-statistics report released by the Palo Alto Police Department.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, January 21, 2013, 11:05 AM


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Posted by Question
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 21, 2013 at 12:36 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Ann
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 21, 2013 at 12:57 pm

No violent crimes in the past two years. How about East Palo Alto??? It amazes me the difference in numbers in two neibohooding cities.

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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jan 21, 2013 at 1:43 pm

The display of the 2012 crime data against only the 2011 as a baseline is not at all helpful. The PA Police/FBI have data going back twenty years—showing definite trends that are quite different that those suggested by comparison of only two years of data.

The Police web-site, not yet updated with the most current data, provides a more reasonable five-year review of criminal activity in Palo Alto--

Palo Alto Part I Crime Data:
Web Link

What’s interesting is that the data in this Weekly article is not characterized in the same way as the FBI Part I Crime Data on the police web-site. Arson is not provided in this report, whereas it is listed on the Part I reports. The crimes of “elder abuse”, “child abuse” and “financial crimes” are not list on the police web-site, so we don’t have ready access to previous year’s data.

The totals for the comparable data leave us with Part I crimes in Palo Alto for 2012 at/about 1479, which is 150 more than 2011. The main difference between 2011 and 2012, as anyone reading the papers knows, is an increase in property-related crimes (burglaries, mostly).

There is much data missing from this report, however. The most obvious missing data point is the “closure rates” for each of these crime categories. It would be surprising if the Palo Alto Police were able to close 15% of these cases. Unfortunately, this police department, and the City Council, have never shown much interest in revealing this data to the public. So, we tare left with just a peek at how much crime going on in our town, or how much of it has been dealt with effectively by the police.

Review of the Part I crime data over a twenty-year period indicates that there has been more-or-less a 30% reduction in crime in all categories, save homicides/rapes--which are generally very small in mumber, compared to other crime types.

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Posted by Duh
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jan 21, 2013 at 3:02 pm

No kidding burglaries are up. Several of my neighbors have been burglarized since 2010, one of them twice. We have a large dog, which I think is the only reason we have remained untouched, other than some minor vandalism.

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Posted by Town SquareER
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 21, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Can Police give out the percentage of (226)burglarized houses through UNLOCKED windows/doors? 50% or 100%?

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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 21, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Our recycle container was recently "tagged" with gang graffiti. This is disturbing.

Are there any local statistics that would show the demographics detailing those who are victims and those who commit the crimes?

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 22, 2013 at 12:03 am

38 arrests for residential burglary. Seems like one could burglarize, I don't know, maybe 5 or 10 homes before getting caught? So maybe the 38 arrests are a significant number of the perpetrators.

Stemming the auto break-ins looks pretty hopeless. I'll bet most of those car doors/windows are locked, as I would bet for the burglarized houses. Many older house locks are not difficult to pick, but I'll guess most are just pried open.

Yes, I can only guess. Maybe we'll get some definitive follow up answers here.

I do see plenty of graffiti, but can't differentiate personal tags from gang tags. Most of it is cleaned up pretty quickly, except for all the signatures scratched into windows along University. And how did the front door of the Apple Store get shattered?

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Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Jan 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm

> And how did the front door of the Apple Store get shattered?

Someone was probably trying to sync their iPod to their iTunes. Or someone was trying to move their iTunes library from their old computer to their new one. What a pain!