Police take action after downtown smash-and-grab burglaries


The Mountain View Police Department is ramping up its presence in the downtown area after a series of smash-and-grab auto burglary incidents last week, according to a statement by the department.

Mountain View's popular downtown corridor has been the frequent target of thieves in recent months, and last week was particularly bad. Between April 22 and April 26, a total of 12 auto burglaries were reported in the downtown area, primarily along Hope and Bryant streets. Thieves reportedly smashed the back windows of vehicles to look for valuables, and would fold down the rear seats to check the contents of the trunk, police said.

Belongings stolen in the burglaries include a laptop, a wallet and documents, according to police spokeswoman Katie Nelson. Not every incident resulted in something being stolen, she said. The thefts are currently being investigated.

Along with increased on-foot patrols to monitor the area, police are urging downtown visitors to take all valuable belongings out of their vehicles, and that hiding bags, wallets and laptops is "not an acceptable way to safely keep your valuables secure."

Mountain View is among many Bay Area cities experiencing a frustrating increase in auto burglaries, with police department data showing a gradual increase in incidents since 2016. Mountain View's low point in the last five years, 2016, had 342 reported auto burglaries. The city has already surpassed that number this year, with 348 cases from Jan. 1 through April 27, according to the crime tracking website CrimeReports.

Auto burglaries in the downtown corridor doubled in 2018 compared to 2017, and 2019 isn't off to a great start. The latter half of 2018 showed 88 reported auto burglaries, whereas this year there have already been 132, according to CrimeReports.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


17 people like this
Posted by DC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 3, 2019 at 3:03 pm

Has the record been broken for thefts, In and Out Burger on Rengstorff ave has over 10 per month.

6 people like this
Posted by Veryupset
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 3, 2019 at 3:38 pm

In general, I have lot of respect for police. They risk their lives to protect us. But these incidents of break-ins,vandalisms have been going on for a while and these guys i.e the police, have been sleeping at it and never took it seriously. That is a cause for serious concern and I am losing my faith in our police and the city. They are terrible and the chief needs to be fired.

37 people like this
Posted by Don't cover your hatchback
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 4, 2019 at 6:44 am

Now they're popping windows to look and see if there's anything in the trunk.
Try and take away any thoughts of "Maybe there's something in there" by showing them the emptiness of your car.

If you own a hatchback, do not put the cargo area cover on. Leave it off so these soon to be dead scumbags can see there is nothing in your car. Show them it's an empty box.

The good news is the more they pop windows and come up empty, the risk of getting caught increases greatly. I'm actually hunting for them myself.

29 people like this
Posted by They can't steal air
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 6, 2019 at 9:34 am

Eventually this crime will go away, but ONLY if people decide to either bring their valuables with them, or leave them at home.

When you have anything that even looks like it might contain something of value in your car, you've just jacked the odds up for your car being broken into.
The new slogan fro parking lots should be "Show off your empty space"

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

All your news. All in one place. Every day.

After 39 years of cakes and pastries, Palo Alto institution Prolific Oven to close
By Elena Kadvany | 47 comments | 14,011 views

What is your climate personality?
By Sherry Listgarten | 26 comments | 1,677 views

Eat Your Values – August 15
By Laura Stec | 1 comment | 1,175 views

The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Process Explained
By Steve Levy | 0 comments | 940 views

"You Gotta Have Balls [to do counseling] . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 540 views


3 days left of Early Bird pricing!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families. Early Bird prices end Sun, Aug 18.

Register now