It wasn’t a very good week for some residents of San Carlos, as they have been victimized by a surge in auto burglaries in White Oaks and other neighborhoods in San Carlos. Just a few nights ago, there were four separate break-ins in White Oaks, two of them being on Eaton Avenue. And earlier in the week, there were nearly as many thefts from vehicles up on La Mesa Drive.
The mode is the same in all cases — thieves tend to be focusing in on electronics; GPS navigation systems, laptops, cell phones, digital cameras….anything electronic. Electronics fetch quick cash in return, and they usually can’t be traced. More often than not, the items that are stolen were left in plain view, just inviting a burglar to smash the window and grab the stuff. But sometimes items that are stolen aren’t in plain view — a circular suction cup ring left over on a windshield is a telltale sign that there may be a GPS unit in that car. Sometimes that’s all the motivation they need to smash a window and ransack a car.
Most of these break-ins are happening late at night, so be vigilant about not becoming a victim by taking the following precautions:
- NEVER leave anything of value in your car…PERIOD. Take it inside the house with you at night. Just sticking the GPS unit in the glove box or trunk doesn’t mean it won’t be found by a persistent thief.
- Lock your car doors at night. Duh, but you’d be surprised how many aren’t.
- Call 911 immediately if you see suspicious activity or slow moving cars. Don’t be afraid to call because you’re not 100% sure — better to be safe than sorry.
Because we’re in the midst of the Christmas shopping season, thieves LOVE shopping mall parking lots that are located next to freeways (i.e. The San Carlos MarketPlace) Why? Because they can hit the jackpot with just a few cars, and have the loot sold up in San Francisco within an hour. Be extra careful not to leave Christmas presents in plain view in your car. Lock them in the trunk with everything else you hope to keep.
A little vigilance and common sense will go a long way to ensuring that you will have a happy holiday season, NOT the car burglars…
(Thanks to Ken Castle of the White Oaks Neighborhood Organization for the background info.)
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