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The original item was published from 7/9/2021 10:23:51 AM to 7/20/2021 12:00:01 AM.

News Flash

Police Department

Posted on: July 9, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Burglary Prevention

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During the previous two months, we have experienced and investigated an uptick in opportunity burglaries.  In most of these burglaries, the perpetrators are targeting outbuildings and garages.  The perpetrators’ focus is stealing bicycles and other valuable items.  Unfortunately, in almost all these burglaries, outbuilding/garage doors were left open or unlocked.  

The purpose of this Burglary Prevention News Flash is to provide our resident partners with information to assist them in helping reduce their likelihood of becoming a victim of burglary.  There are steps you can take at home to make your residence a harder target for burglars through a concept called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), https://www.ncpc.org/resources/home-neighborhood-safety/crime-prevention-through-environmental-design-training-program/.  

  • Proper and sufficient lighting around the perimeter of your home.
  • Use a residential security alarm and consider having your alarm system monitored directly by our Dispatch Center at no cost to allow for the fastest police response possible.
  • Use a functional surveillance system and know how to use it.
  • Work with your neighbors and get to know them so that together, you can help each other out by looking for things that are suspicious.  
  • Have a written record of your valuables with serial numbers.
  • Keep certain valuables in a secured safe inside your home.
  • Lock your doors and windows.

We have police staff trained in CPTED and we will come to your residence to assist you in conducting a CPTED review of your home.  Please call 650-688-6500 or email Jennifer Frew at jfrew@ci.atherton.ca.us to make an appointment.

None of the preceding solutions will help without proper implementation. Crimes of opportunity are attractive because they present the perpetrator with easy opportunities to get in and get out quickly without detection. Unlocked doors and windows, a lack of security lighting, and a failure to use an alarm system presents opportunities to the perpetrator.

Officers are working diligently to solve and deter burglaries but we also need your help. If you see something suspicious, report it to us at 650-688-6500 or 911 for emergencies; and, please use techniques to keep your home secure. We have increased burglary suppression patrols using unmarked vehicles and coordinated with other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.

Burglaries in Atherton are occurring typically in the early evenings or early morning hours.  The primary modes of entry have been through unlocked doors or through breaking master bedroom glass doors/windows. We have added additional patrols out during these times. We are also deploying decoy vehicles throughout the community to assist with visibility and deterrence. In addition, officers are using the new ALPR cameras to assist in the identification and alerting to known stolen or wanted vehicles and forensic investigation. ALPRs provide the Police Department with immediate alerts to vehicles that are known to be stolen or wanted. The ALPR cameras also assist detectives in the forensic investigation of a burglary that has occurred. However, it is important to note that ALPR cameras cannot be used to identify perpetrators on foot or those that use bicycles to reach homes. The recent crimes of opportunity have involved perpetrators that are on foot or on a bicycle. 

The Atherton Department of Police’s crime prevention efforts are meant to strengthen the partnership between our residents and the community we serve.  We hope that together, we can help prevent burglaries to enhance the quality of life in Atherton and make our great community as safe and secure as possible.


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