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It's official: Los Altos experiencing property crime spree


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Alarm signs serve as deterrents at a home on Waverly Lane in Los Altos, one of the many streets struck by a residential burglary since the year’s start. In 2018, 80 burglaries were reported in the city; in the first quarter of 2019, CrimeReports.com reveals that the tally is already halfway to last year’s total. The Los Altos police preach their motto of “Be Aware, Be Alert and Be Active” to prevent all types of crime.

Since 2019 began, there have been more property crimes than days of the year.

According to CrimeReports.com, as of the Town Crier deadline, the city had experienced 113 property crimes. That number includes 41 burglaries (35 residential, six commercial), 44 acts of theft (petty and grand), 14 acts of vandalism and 14 vehicle thefts.

The police records database revealed that January was by far the most active month with 47 property crimes, followed by February with 34 and March with 32.

Of the 113 property crimes reported, 54 occurred in north Los Altos (from the Palo Alto border to South El Monte Avenue), 24 in central Los Altos (South El Monte to Fremont Avenue) and 35 in south Los Altos (Fremont Avenue to the Sunnyvale/Cupertino borders).

Such crimes were most likely to occur between 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., CrimeReports.com showed.

According to crime and accident statistics previously provided by the Los Altos Police Department, this year’s vehicle theft incidents (14) have nearly matched last year’s total (16).

The city is already halfway to last year’s burglary total of 80.

General, petty and grand thefts leveled out at 188 total incidents last year; the current count of 44 incidents indicates this year’s average of thefts per month is down from 15.67 per month last year to 14.67 per month in 2019.

As of the Town Crier’s deadline, CrimeReports.com reported a total of three robberies and three batteries in Los Altos in the first three months of 2019. All three batteries and one robbery took place in south Los Altos, while central and north Los Altos each experienced one robbery. Two robberies and one battery occurred in January, one robbery in February and two batteries in March.

Comparing year-to-year crime stats, the recorded robberies in the first three months of this year meet the total robberies reported for all of 2018. No homicides or rapes have been reported this year; there were no homicides and four rapes last year.

Protection, prevention

Sgt. Brian Jeffrey of the Los Altos Police Department said he had not seen any crime patterns that would indicate south Los Altos is targeted more frequently than the rest of the city, despite claims by residents who reached out to the Town Crier and complained online.

“All crimes that are reported to the Los Altos Police Department are investigated to the fullest extent,” Jeffrey said in an email. “We continue to collaborate with neighboring law enforcement agencies and are actively investigating all leads.”

Officers participated in three recent community meetings at which they discussed the department’s Neighborhood Watch program, crime trends and crime prevention. As always, officers recommend locking residences and vehicles, installing security cameras and/or alarm systems, never leaving valuables in cars and securing valuables inside the home. Residents can request a home inspection from the Los Altos Police Crime Prevention Unit.

Jeffrey said neighbors should try to follow the motto of “Be Aware, Be Alert and Be Active” by immediately reporting any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods and staying informed through CrimeReports.com, Nextdoor.com and/or Nixle.com. The Los Altos police have Facebook and Twitter accounts that issue alerts to the community with tips, tricks and trends they are seeing across the city.

To see the list of crimes in 2019 to date, visit CrimeReports.com and search “Los Altos, California.”

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