The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office last week asked the public to assist in identifying a male burglary suspect who entered an unoccupied Los Altos Hills home on Snell Court April 25.
Sheriff’s Capt. Ken Binder described the suspect as a Caucasian male in his 20s with short brown hair and a medium build, wearing a plain white shirt and khaki-colored pants. The suspect entered the home through an unlocked bathroom window and stole jewelry and electronics, but not before a security camera system captured his image.
The burglary was one of four in Los Altos Hills between April 23 and 27, Binder noted. The recent Los Altos Hills burglaries coincide with an upswing in residential burglaries in neighboring Los Altos. As reported in the April 30 issue of the Town Crier, 10 Los Altos homes were burglarized over slightly more than two weeks in April. The Los Altos Hills cases currently under investigation by Binder’s department bear some similarities.
“What we’ve been seeing is burglars knocking on doors, and if no one answers, they’ll circle the perimeter of the home looking for unlocked doors and windows,” he said, adding that burglars generally look for small valuable items to grab, such as iPads.
Binder is asking Los Altos Hills residents to take additional precautions before leaving their homes – even when running short errands. They should check that all windows and doors are locked and activate home security alarms. Two of the four recent cases involved burglars entering homes through unlocked windows.
“What they’re doing is driving through neighborhoods just looking for homes that appear unoccupied – where people are either on vacation or at work,” he said.
Binder added that in cases where an occupant answers a knock on the front door, burglars often ask for directions or assistance of another kind first, but return later when they know the home is empty.
He said residents should contact the Sheriff’s Office if they suspect anything out of the ordinary. Law enforcement agencies rely on collaboration with residents to help remedy the problem.
“It’s hard to arrest your way out of this type of situation,” Binder said. “We just want residents to be vigilant and take the necessary steps to protect their properties.”
Anyone with information related to the Los Altos Hills burglary cases is encouraged to call the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Investigation Unit at (408) 808-4500. Residents may leave an anonymous tip at (408) 808-4431.