Los Altos construction site burglaries spike

 construction site burglaries
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
In a two-week period in November, police received 10 reports of burglaries at Los Altos construction sites, according to police Sgt. Brian Jeffrey. A city ordinance specifies permitted construction hours, so police urge residents to keep watch and call police if they observe suspicious activity.

Los Altos Police Department detectives are investigating 10 construction-site burglaries that occurred Nov. 13-27, confirming a spike in such crimes.

Sgt. Brian Jeffrey said the police department is working with neighboring law enforcement agencies “in an effort to collaborate on identifying related crimes and developing crime patterns” for the burglaries.

As of the Town Crier’s press deadline, none of the incidents had an exact time stamp and were marked as “sometime overnight” in police records.

Burglaries were reported:

• Nov. 13 on the 600 block of University Avenue and the 500 and 700 blocks of Orange Avenue.

• Nov. 14 on the 300 block of Cuesta Drive.

• Nov. 16 on the 1100 block of East Rose Circle and the 900 block of Covington Road.

• Nov. 17 on the 1000 block of South Springer Road and the 700 block of Ronald Court.

• Nov. 27 on the 500 block of Lincoln Avenue.

During the burglaries, the targeted stolen items included construction tools, equipment and building materials, according to Jeffrey.

Jeffrey’s No. 1 recommendation for preventing construction-site theft: looking out for one another. Because of a city of Los Altos residential construction ordinance, it would be suspicious for anyone to be on-site in the middle of the night.

“Per Ordinance No. 6.16.070, residential construction hours are restricted to Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” Jeffrey said. “Construction is not allowed on Sunday or (certain) city observed holidays.”

Jeffrey also recommended the following best practices to avoid theft.

• Keep construction sites well lit and maintain a security fence around the perimeter.

• Purchase and use security cameras and/or an alarm system at the site and make sure that it is always secured during nonconstruction times, such as at night or on weekends.

• Keep detailed records of construction tools, building materials and equipment, such as the manufacturer, model number, serial number, etc. All high-valued construction equipment can be tagged with GPS trackers, and everything can be labeled in a distinctive way to show ownership.

• Store all valuable tools and materials in a secured spot, such as a locker or cabinet, or consider taking it off the property for safekeeping.

Anyone with information on the burglaries is urged to call the Los Altos Police Department’s nonemergency number at 948-2770.

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