Why are so many burglaries hounding the town of Los Altos in California? There were 79 reported in 2013, but 118 for 2014. This past January and February there were 36. At that rate, by Christmas 2015, it’s unthinkable what the total number of burglaries will be.
In a report on mercurynews.com, the Los Altos police chief, Tuck Younis, is quoted as saying, “It sickens me, as the one who is responsible to keep the city safe, that’s occurring. It sickens every member of our department that’s occurring, especially at the volume that is occurring in our city.”
He spoke this to an assembly of over 200 town residents. Chief Younis added that the number of burglaries is “unprecedented.” In fact, the cities of Sunnyvale and Mountainview—neighbors to Los Altos—have also been stung. And not just by local thieves, but thieves from all over.
Chief Younis speculates that a prison realignment is responsible for the spike in burglaries; convicts are getting released sooner.
And these burglars are going after hard-to-trace loot like jewelry and cash, rather than iPhones and video games. And they’ve been hitting homes both during the day and in the middle of the night.
The police have reassured residents that they are doing everything possible to break this spike up, and that there’s even been some arrests. Nevertheless, residents were instructed to be extra alert and not to hold back from reporting any suspicious activity.
Residents should also beef up their home security as well as take non-techy measures to make their homes unappealing to burglars. Being aware of the little things will make a difference, such as not letting newspapers collect in the driveway because you haven’t felt like getting the paper for a few days and not letting the lawn become overgrown—signs to a burglar that nobody’s been home for a while.
Keeping windows and doors locked at all times, using a deadbolt on doors and Charlie bars on windows, and keeping lights on will also help repel burglars. You can even get semi-techy by installing a fake video camera above the front door that a thief won’t miss—this is a good deterrent to the bad guys.