Mountain View Voice

For the Record - August 19, 2011

Police look for connections in string of break-ins

Number of burglaries jumps — 12 reported this month as of Aug. 16

by Nick Veronin

There is no evidence indicating that any of the several burglaries reported on Aug. 12 in Mountain View are related, police said this week. However, investigators have not ruled out the possibility that some of the crimes might be connected.

"We are definitely looking into all the burglaries that occurred to see if there is any correlation," Mountain View police spokeswoman Jaime Garrett said.

Police received the first report of a break-in at 10:14 a.m. last Friday, after a neighbor noticed that the window of a nearby apartment in the 2100 block of Rock Street had been smashed. According to Garrett, about $500 in cash was taken in the burglary, which police believe took place overnight between Aug. 11 and Aug. 12.

Then at 1:03 p.m., police received a report that a ring and a man's watch had been stolen in a burglary that likely occurred sometime between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 12.

Garrett said that the burglar, or burglars, entered the victim's apartment — located in the 2700 block of Del Medio Court — through an unlocked door.

Two more burglaries were reported after that.

The sliding glass door of an apartment was smashed sometime between 9 a.m. and 3:20 p.m. in the 500 block of Cypress Point Drive, Garrett said. Nothing was taken, but the apartment was ransacked.

A little over two hours later, police received a call from a man who said 3,000 Indian rupees were taken from his apartment in the 500 block of W. Middlefield Drive. The burglary occurred sometime between 7:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m.

Garrett said there have been reports of people attempting to break into houses and apartments while the residents are at home. In one case, she said, someone knocked on the door, and, after the resident didn't answer, a window was broken with a rock.

In another incident, on Aug. 14 in the 2000 block of California Street, a woman encountered an intruder who had climbed in through a window while she was home. Police said when she opened the door to the bathroom, she found the man climbing out the window. She only saw that the man was wearing jeans and sneakers.

"There have been a lot of burglaries lately," Garrett said, noting that in the entire month of August last year, there were only two reported burglaries. This year, as of Aug. 16, there have been 12 reports of breaking and entering in Mountain View.

"It is important that if someone is trying to determine if you are home that you let them know you are home," Garrett said, adding: "Lock your windows and doors. Some of these crimes are happening because doors and windows are unlocked, making them an easy target for criminals."

Other things residents can do to deter burglars, according to Garrett, is to install better locks on windows and doors, motion-activated lights, burglar alarms, and make sure there aren't places to for burglars to hide nearby, such as large, unkept shrubs.

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