Thu04172014

News

Police arrest two linked to burglaries

The Los Altos Police Department last week reported the arrests of two suspects allegedly responsible for a pair of home burglaries in July.

According to police, Kevin John Blocker, 20, was arrested in his hometown of Oakland in late July on a $500,000 burglary warrant. In addition, police recently arrested 22-year-old George Eddie Nelson, also of Oakland, on a $100,000 burglary warrant. Both men have been released and are currently awaiting trial.

The suspects were captured for perpetrating two home burglaries in the 600 block of Riverside Drive July 10. Both cases involved forcible entry and the theft of jewelry and electronics from one of the homes. A resident interrupted the burglary at the second home, causing the suspect to flee without any goods.

Detectives from Los Altos and Palo Alto recovered some of the stolen property the same day the burglaries occurred.

“This was the result of a lot of good work by investigators in these two cases,” Los Altos Police Capt. Andy Galea told the Town Crier. “They had a lot of good leads, and we’re happy to get at least some of the stolen property back.”

The arrests come on the heels of a reported spike in residential and commercial burglaries in Los Altos. As previously reported in the Oct. 24 edition of the Town Crier, police investigators are pursuing leads in more than a dozen burglaries that occurred during a 12-day span from late September through early October. The spree, which includes five burglaries reported in one day, Oct. 3, may be part of a regional upswing in these types of crimes, police noted.

Police have not connected Blocker and Nelson with the reported 12-day burglary spike.

“Obviously we’ve had this recent increase in Los Altos,” Galea said. “We’ve redeployed a lot of our officers to focus on (specific) areas in the city and increased our patrols as a result.”

In addition to the increased police alert, Galea encourages residents to take an active role in keeping their neighborhoods safe.

Police offered the following tips.

• Be aware of your surroundings. Report any suspicious activity to police immediately. In some instances, suspects will case an area before initiating a crime in order to establish patterns of residents’ behavior. Police encourage residents to make note of unfamiliar vehicles in their neighborhood, including jotting down license plate numbers, if possible. However, residents should never place themselves in a position that might compromise their safety.

• Establish a neighborhood network. Become friendly with neighbors. They can be witnesses if a crime occurs nearby.

• Use alarm and surveillance systems. Activate audible alarm systems when leaving your home to discourage burglars from attempting a crime. Simple surveillance systems can be purchased for less than $1,000 and often act as deterrents. In the event a crime does occur, the surveillance may provide key evidence for investigators.

• Lock all windows and doors. In several cases, suspects have gained access to homes through open garage doors and other unlocked entry points.

• Request a safety inspection. Residents can schedule a safety inspection of their properties by contacting the Los Altos Police Department at 947-2770.

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