Dispersed incidents of car, store and home burglaries hit Mountain View early last week, as suspects broke windows and made off with anything from jewelry and computers to envelopes of cash. In just two days, there were 16 reported cases of theft and burglary, and two arrests.
The thefts occurred on Aug. 11 and 12, and include the burglary of a Subway and a Barnes and Noble College Bookstore.
Someone smashed the front window of the Subway at 1477 Plymouth St. sometime between 7 p.m. Monday night and 6:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, and took about $300 in cash, according to Sgt. Saul Jaeger of the Mountain View Police Department.
During that same period, at 5:15 a.m., one or more burglars shattered and pried open a side door to the Barnes and Noble College Bookstore at 365 Ravendale Drive and appear to have stolen several computers, Jaeger said.
There was also one case of residential burglary at around 12:51 p.m. at the 1100 block of Fordham Way, but the victim inadvertently interrupted the burglary. The resident returned home and parked her vehicle when she noticed a man, described as a Hispanic male in his 20s and wearing a plaid shirt, fleeing the home through the backyard gate and leaving the scene in a metallic green mini-van.
The biggest financial hit occurred in a 9:45 a.m. incident on Tuesday, Aug. 12, when a man left an envelope with $1,800 in cash in the door pocket of his vehicle while it was being washed at Lozanos Car Wash on El Camino Real. When the man's vehicle was returned, the envelope was gone. The "wash manager" at the car wash assisted officers in questioning and searching employees for the money, but it never turned up, according to Jaeger.
Two car burglaries at Century Cinemas 16 on Shoreline Boulevard occurred back-to-back and may have been related incidents. On Aug. 11, a 65-year-old Sunnyvale man returned to his vehicle in the theater parking lot to find the right rear window broken and some of his property stolen. The incident occurred sometime between 9 and 11 p.m., according to police, and around $490 in "miscellaneous luggage material" was stolen.
In the same parking lot, someone broke into a vehicle by breaking a window and entering the trunk through the back seat. The burglary occurred sometime between 9:30 and 11:30 p.m.
The police have no suspects and few witnesses in the 16 cases of theft and burglary, but that doesn't mean the stolen property is gone for good. Jaeger said victims of theft have a better chance of getting their stuff back if they can give police the stolen properties' serial number. If police suspect that a laptop or iPhone may have been stolen, they can "run" the serial number to see if there are any matches.
Jaeger said Mountain View police detectives monitor the reports that come in to see if there's any sort of trend, but other than the auto burglaries in the theater parking lot there does not appear to be any connections between the cases.
Though the thefts and burglaries happened all over Mountain View, multiple incidents occurred on Shoreline Boulevard north of Highway 101 and around the San Antonio Shopping Center.
Jaeger said many thefts can be averted with a little precaution, and suggested that people leave nothing visible in their car including chargers and cords.
"Leaving things in plain view in a car, even in a bag, is not a good idea," Jaeger said.