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The original item was published from 1/28/2022 4:08:52 PM to 2/17/2022 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: January 28, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Message from the Chief of Police on Atherton Residential Burglaries

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Message from the Chief of Police on Atherton Residential Burglaries

During the month of January 2022, we have experienced eight residential burglaries throughout Atherton.   In 2021, our officers investigated 28 residential burglaries and made two arrests of burglary suspects.  During the last five years (2016 to 2021), we investigated an average of about two burglaries per month and two burglary suspect arrests per year.  Of the eight burglaries this month, we suspect six were committed by organized Chilean gang members operating out of the Los Angeles area.  Of the 28 burglaries that occurred in 2021, we have linked six to Chilean gang members.  Chilean gang member burglaries have been a problem throughout San Mateo County and nationwide.  For details refer to the link below:

In an effort to ensure transparent information about the burglaries in Atherton, I wanted to share what your police department team is doing to combat this problem.  To date we are taking these steps:

●             Hosting a Community Safety/Crime Prevention Zoom meeting on Thursday, February 17, 2022.  More information on the meeting will be published soon.

●             Asking residents to host police department Neighborhood Watch/Crime Prevention meetings.  If you are interested in hosting a meeting, please email me at

●             Coordination with the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC) on tracking of and information on organized burglary rings.

●             Working with the San Mateo County Police Chiefs and Sherriff Association to leverage the use of existing crime task forces for burglary suppression.

●             Collaboration the Sheriff’s Office, Redwood City PD, Menlo Park PD, and East Palo Alto PD on all burglary cases in our area.

●             Continued coordination with FBI on the Chilean gangs.

●             Increased use of special deployment teams as burglary suppression teams.

The absolute best way to prevent becoming a victim of burglary is to properly protect your home and your valuables.  You can greatly assist our crime prevention efforts by doing the following:

1.            Keep all gates, doors and windows locked, even when you are home.

2.            When you are not home, making it appear that someone is home by keeping lights on, installing light timers, leaving on the TV or a radio.

3.            Install exterior lighting.

4.            Do not keep valuables in your master bedroom as this area is a common target of burglars.

5.            Keep valuables well-hidden and consider using a safe bolted to the floor and/or wall.

6.            Keep valuables out of your car and lock your car doors.

7.            Install an alarm system and security cameras (strongly consider having your alarm system monitored for free by our PD Dispatch Center by calling 650-688-6500).

8.            Schedule a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) review of your home, by one of our specially trained CPTED officers, by calling us at 650-688-6500.

The Atherton Police Department’s crime prevention efforts are meant to strengthen the partnership between our residents and the community that we serve. None of these ideas will help unless they are implemented and 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.

Steven D McCulley

Chief of Police

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