News of recent burglaries and attempted burglaries in Palo Alto led two residents to come forward to report someone tried to enter their homes during the early morning hours on Sunday, police said.
The two new incidents bring the city's total to six burglaries or attempted burglaries that happened within a two-week span, police said in a press release Tuesday. In response, the agency announced plans this week to increase overnight patrols in marked and unmarked vehicles in residential neighborhoods.
One of the attempted burglaries happened sometime between 3:15 and 4:15 a.m. in the 700 block of Channing Avenue, just off Middlefield Road. A man in his 30s said he woke up to sounds of rattling and banging, which caused his young child to wake up and cry, according to police.
He walked around his home and found a living room window was left slightly open. The man then comforted his child and went back to sleep, according to police.
When the man learned about the recent overnight burglaries, he contacted police on Monday around 10 a.m. An investigation indicated that the would-be burglar tried to pry open the locked window but a security rod blocked them from entering the residence, according to the release.
Police were alerted to another attempted home burglary on Tuesday around 8:20 a.m. in the city's St. Claire Gardens neighborhood. A woman in her 90s told police of suspicious circumstances at her home in the 3300 block of South Court early Sunday.
Around 3:15 a.m. that day, she woke up to light from a flashlight coming from her backyard and went back to sleep when she didn't hear any noise. Later that morning, she found her unlocked side yard gate was open and a screen removed from a bathroom window, which was partially open, police said. No one gained access inside.
She decided to report the incident to police after a family member informed her of recent overnight burglaries in the city, the release states.
No video from home surveillance systems was available for either attempted burglary, police said.
The residents whose homes were or nearly were burglarized didn't come face to face with whoever carried out the crime, police said. There's no evidence that the burglar or burglars stepped into occupied bedrooms.
The other attempted burglary happened at 5:23 a.m. Sunday in the 1100 block of Fulton Street. A woman in her 70s reported a "rattling" noise from her back door and heard someone running from her side yard, according to police.
Detectives are also investigating three early morning home burglaries that happened earlier this month. Two happened on Oct. 12 at two homes, one on Gailen Avenue where two two bikes were stolen and another on Nathan Way where a purse went missing, police said. The third was on Thursday at a Hamilton Avenue residence, where a couple lost electronics and car keys, though no vehicle was taken.
The Police Department considers overnight residential burglaries "extremely rare," though it notes the recent incidents are exceptions. The agency recommends the public take precautions to prevent their homes from getting burglarized, such as locking side yard gates and leaving a spare key with a neighbor instead of in a hidden place outside of their residence. More crime prevention tips can be found at cityofpaloalto.org/StopCrime.
Anyone with information about the recent burglaries and attempted burglaries is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.