Dear Atherton Resident:
During the past few weeks, our officers have investigated two residential burglaries, and one attempted burglary of an occupied home. Burglary of an occupied residence is extremely concerning and alarming. The suspects are believed to be well organized gang members from southern California. It is quite possible these are the same suspects from a series of burglaries that occurred in Atherton in late 2018 and early 2019. Our detectives are in close contact with detectives in southern California for coordination and development of intelligence in order to locate and arrest these suspects.
The purpose of this Burglary Prevention letter is to provide you, our resident partners, with information to assist you in helping reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of a burglary. One of the best things you can do to prevent a burglary is to make your house look like someone is home when you are away from your home. There are steps you can take to help make your residence a harder target for burglars. The tips we provide here are part of a concept called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). CPTED is part of the National Crime Prevention Council’s tools to create and support a climate of safety in a community. The website is available at the following link: https://www.ncpc.org/resources/home-neighborhood-safety/crime-prevention-through-environmental-design-training-program/.
If you have never stepped back and looked at your residence from the perspective of a would-be criminal, you should take a moment and do so. Burglars look for vulnerabilities and opportunities. They look for an easy target, so making their job more difficult, or riskier, reduces the appeal to most criminals. Burglars will most often try for unlocked windows and doors as a means of entry. If you have windows and doors that create a challenge to burglars, they may move on to something easier. Burglars also want to remain unseen if possible. Lighting, landscaping, natural access control, and other concepts, are forms of Environmental Design that can make your home a harder target and one that will assist crime prevention and deterrence. We have police staff trained in CPTED and we will come to your residence for a CPTED review. To arrange a visit, call our Dispatch Center at 650-688-6500, to set up an appointment.
On Wednesday, December 9 @ 7:00 pm, we will be hosting a Zoom Community safety meeting to discuss our recent burglaries, ways you can help prevent from being victimized by a burglary, and detailed information about recent deployment of 21 Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) cameras in Town.
The Atherton Police Department’s crime prevention efforts are meant to strengthen the partnership between our residents and the community that we serve. But, none of these ideas will help unless they are used properly. Failing to lock doors and windows or to turn on security lighting and alarms will represent a failure of the overall protection system for the home. We hope that together, we can enhance the quality of life in Atherton and make our great community as safe and secure as possible.
Chief Steven D. McCulley