Residents of Bedford Square in Mountain View awoke Oct. 29 to a nasty surprise: someone had busted out the windows of approximately 20 vehicles along Ferguson Drive near the Compass Way intersection, where many in the townhome complex park.
Jeep Wrangler, Mazda 3, Subaru Outback, Honda Civic, Mercedes GL: the burglar or burglars acted indiscriminately. They seemed to gain entry to most if not all of the vehicles on the passenger side – as if someone had systematically walked down each side of Ferguson, smashing one window after another. Electronics and tools are among the stolen items.
“I know how frustrating this is to residents and what a violation of privacy this feels like,” said Katie Nelson, Mountain View Police Department spokeswoman.
Detectives believe the burglaries occurred late the night of Oct. 28 or in the early-morning hours of Oct. 29. The case has been transferred to the department’s Crime Suppression Unit, part of the Investigative Division, due to the number of vehicles targeted.
The CSU is “notorious” for catching suspects in such cases, Nelson said.
In California, car burglary is known as a “wobbler” crime, meaning it is up to a prosecutor’s discretion whether to charge suspects with a misdemeanor or a felony, she said.
One of the victims of last week’s spree, a man who declined to identify himself beyond the nickname “Tyler,” spent Tuesday morning riding a bike up and down Ferguson Drive to confer with other victims while he waited for a quote from an auto repair shop for replacing his broken vehicle window. He said his iPod and a bag of tools were stolen.
Tyler said car burglary isn’t common in Bedford Square.
“I’ve heard about it happening on other streets, but never in this neighborhood,” he said.
Both passenger side windows of Jamie Tomaselli’s Audi A4 were shattered. Her vehicle registration is missing.
Due to limited parking in the neighborhood, many Bedford Square residents park along Ferguson, she said. She’s not aware of a similar crime in the area – though someone once broke into some of the townhomes facing Ferguson Drive.
“I’ve parked my car out here, I mean, for, I don’t know, at least the last two years,” Tomaselli said. “This is just awful. It’s just so disappointing.”