Crime briefs | May 3, 2019 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - May 3, 2019

Crime briefs

Downtown auto burglary spree

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.

Cuesta Park home burglarized

A 56-year-old transient man was arrested last week after he allegedly burglarized a Cuesta Park home and took a backpack containing a laptop and clothes.

Police received reports that a resident on the 100 block of Cuesta Drive arrived home around 7 p.m. on Monday, April 22, to find the man inside the house. The homeowner reportedly confronted the suspect, who left the area on foot.

The man appears to have entered the property through the home's patio door, which was closed but did not appear to be locked at the time, according to police spokeswoman Katie Nelson.

Officers were given a description of the suspect and spotted him a short distance away, at the corner of Grant Road and Cuesta Drive, where he was identified by the resident, Nelson said. The suspect reportedly took a backpack from the home with a laptop and clothing inside.

The man was arrested on suspicion of felony burglary charges, and was booked into Santa Clara County jail, where he was being held without bail.

—Kevin Forestieri

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