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Alert: Auto Burglaries Surge in White Oaks and Other San Carlos Neighborhoods.

December 5, 2009 Living in San Carlos 8 Comments

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.

Take Precautions.

Most of these break-ins are happening late at night, so be vigilant about not becoming a victim by taking the following precautions:

  1. 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.
  2. Lock your car doors at night.  Duh, but you’d be surprised how many aren’t.
  3. 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.

Daylight Break-ins.

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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Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. BB says:

    Thanks for posting. I’m one of those “DUHs” that doesn’t lock the doors because I usually don’t leave valuables in there. A couple weeks ago, my car was broken into. I could tell because they left of glove box and center console open. The only valuable thing in there was my ipod adapter… needless to say, they took it. I was doing a bunch of things the next day and never got a chance to call the PD. I should have. Now, I lock the doors.

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    • Chuck says:

      I think we have all done the “duh” thing more often than we care to admit. Same thing happened to me a few years back — left one of our cars unlocked, and came out the next morning to find the door ajar and the insides had clearly been rummaged through. Thankfully, nothing was taken.

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  2. White Oaks Mom says:

    Chuck,

    The same thing happened to me when I left my car door unlocked. However, this meant that they didn’t smash my window to break in, as they did to my neighbor’s car. It saved me from having to pay a $500 deductible to replace the window…

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    • Chuck says:

      White Oaks Mom,

      That’s an interesting point — I guess that puts a little bit of a silver lining in an otherwise lousy situation.

      The reason I mention locking the doors is that a few years ago I chased away a couple of car thieves on our street who were walking casually down the street flipping the handles on all of the cars to see which ones were unlocked. They’d automatically go into any one that was unlocked, but they weren’t bothering with locked cars probably because it was damp outside and they couldn’t see inside the cars.

      Let’s hope they catch these creeps!

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  3. Michael says:

    I live above San Carlos Avenue in Beverly Terrace and I have noticed more kids in the neighborhood drinking and “hanging out”. I am not afraid to ask what they are doing and where they live while out walking my dogs.

    More resident involvement needs to happen to prevent these urchins from lurking around looking for trouble. Too often I do not see any activity in many of these neighborhoods and they are just asking for this sort of havoc if they do not make it known that eyes are watching.

    Don’t just expect the police department to patrol your neighborhood, even if you ask them to do so. It is all of our responsibility to protect your property and your neighborhood and stay alert!!

    If these two-bit criminals see that there are easy marks, they will take advantage. Don’t make yourself a victim.

    Yes, we all need to sleep, so don’t leave valuables in view in cars parked outdoors. Put up security lights and keep your yards tended. I have neighbors who don’t mow their lawns, leave old newspapers for days in their driveways and it is just asking for trouble.

    Do your best to improve your neighborhood. Don’t leave it up to your neighbors.

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  4. iamnoone says:

    Another risk with auto break-ins is that many cars have the garage door opener in the car. Its then trivial to get access to the house.

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    • Chuck says:

      That’s an excellent point, and one that Ken Castle did specifically mention in his neighborhood newsletter. Thanks for bringing that up, and pardon the omission!

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  5. BB says:

    My neighbor had a UPS package taken from his porch just last night.

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